We’ve now had a couple of days to reflect on the series victory and it was an immensely proud achievement for a group of players and support staff who feel privileged to have the opportunity to represent New Zealand. We certainly enjoyed the moment in the shed together afterwards.
Winning away from home is the ultimate. When you’re asked to perform on pitches that are completely foreign to how you’ve molded yourself as a cricketer, in stifling heat and humidity, against guys who are completely accustomed to these conditions, there’s no surprise away wins are rare and to be cherished.
As a team we’re driven by series results. In the past we’ve almost flattered to deceive as we’ve won the odd game, and then we’ve lost a few. Even in our own minds we’ve not been able to be as consistent as we know we can. The fact we’ve been able to get three back-to-back series wins in different conditions shows we’re certainly making progress in the area of the elusive “consistency”.
One of the most positive aspects was the way we played spin in challenging conditions. To not lose a wicket to spin in the whole second innings in Barbados, when it was turning and bouncing significantly, was something the boys were very pleased with.
There were also so many young players who came in and fronted up at key moments during the series, while our bowling group led by Tim and Trent continues to gain deserved accolades.
We’re all delighted with what we’ve achieved this season but we know with such a young group that we’ve still got plenty of room to grow. For example Tim is the leader of our bowling attack and he’s only 25. There’s a lot of natural talent within the group, we just need to be patient and keep providing the opportunities for players to be challenged.
If you look at our spin bowling, we’ve got a couple of really promising spinners. They have plenty of raw talent but Ish and Mark are not going to turn into world-class performers in 12 months. It is important that we are patient and supportive to help them evolve into top quality spinners over time.
We now turn our attention to the two Twenty20 Internationals here in Dominica. We all know what a formidable side the West Indies are in this format. They won the World Cup two years ago and they’re probably one of the most skilful sides going around at the moment.
We decided not to bring over any Twenty20 specialists so these matches give us the chance to try a few different things like opening with Jimmy. We have a lot of questions we need answers to before next year’s one day world cup at home and hopefully we can gather some further information this weekend.
We’ll also possibly have a leg spinner in our Twenty20 side which will mix things up a bit. So enjoy what the weekend’s cricket has to offer.