Coaches Blog - 2nd Edition

Five top domestic coaches will bring you regular updates throughout the year. 


Mike Hesson

Coach - Otago Volts

I’m very pleased with the way we played at times throughout the HRV Cup but looking back there’s a whole lot of “what ifs”.

Obviously we were trying to win the competition again and the main issue was we found was finding a balance throughout the programme between training time, rest and recovery. It was a thoroughly enjoyable competition with any of the top four teams capable of winning it heading into the last innings of the 10th round.

This year we had Pakistani player Yasir Arafat play for us. He’s been a major contributor with the ball and we’ve enjoyed having him around and he has been very forthcoming with his experience. He’s with us till the end of the one-day competition so it will be good to see how he can contribute during the 50 over games.

The Volts were outstanding at times and less flattering at others during the HRV Cup.  The opportunity to be in the final was within our control and we didn’t quite grasp those opportunities at the back end of the season. We came third in a highly competitive competition that was certainly up a notch in quality from last season.

Looking to the one-day competition, we will be looking at sticking to the fundamentals for longer period of time and the guys are back playing club cricket to get into the one day groove this weekend.

Currently we are sixth in the one day competition; however we are only one win away from forth.

Skill - Twenty20 fielding

It’s about awareness of where you field in the ring and the ability to assess change regarding the situation of the game. It changes every ball and you need to be constantly aware of your individual role and what is expected of you.

Bob Carter

Coach - Canterbury Wizards

In a sense we didn’t play very well during the HRV Cup. We started alright with a win first up but then played seven games with out winning before beating the Volts who were at the top of the table at that time. We proved we could perform to our potential and could win games. The loss of Corey Anderson to the Under 19s and Shane Bond to injury hindered us.

We got the momentum going the wrong way and could chant it around. There were a couple of games we could have won and should have won. It was a fierce competition and it was proved in the last round where four teams could have made the final. It proves how successful it was.

We were always trying to change our fortunes and tweak things here and there and I think we had glimpses of people performing; it just needed to be more consistent in our performances throughout the HRV Cup.

Looking forward to the one-day format we have been preparing for that. We are currently second on the one-day table but we have two tough games ahead of us with the Stags and the Aces before returning home for the final game against the Firebirds. Hopefully we will have Shane Bond back for the one-day competition and have Corey Anderson available for selection.

Skill - Batting in shorter forms

It changes a fair bit. In Twenty20 you have 120 balls and the emphasis is building those partnerships at the top of the innings and having a good start. For the one day game you bring it down a notch. In the Twenty20 game you are looking for boundaries more regularly but there is more time in the 50 over game and you can pick off the bad balls instead of going in searching and getting out to early. It’s all about setting up the game early on in the innings.

Grant Bradburn

Coach - Northern Knights

We are pleased with the progress we’ve made and we’ve finished this year in a far better position in terms of skill set than last year. They boys have grown and have a much clearer understanding of how to play Twenty20 cricket.
We are disappointed to finish forth. We were only four balls away from hosting the final. It was a tight competition but we were realistic too. Our bowlers did a great job and we fielded outstandingly during the HRV Cup, however we know our batting was below what we are capable of delivering..
We are still in the hunt for the one-day competition and we want to carry that momentum from the HRV Cup and utlise it. While we are disappointed not making HRV Cup Final, there’s lots of positivity and excitement around the remaining two competitions.
We were fortunate to have all our BLACKCAPS during the HRV Cup and we will only lose two back to international duties. We also have Hamish Marshall available for us to play for the Knights for the rest of the season. In total we have 19 quality players who are ready to step into the Knights and even though we are missing Tim Southee and Daniel Vettori we still have a healthy stable of quality players, some who haven’t had the opportunity to play yet jumping out of their skin to play for our team. Our bowling has been our trump card so far this season and if we continue to bowl well we will feature in the sharp end of the two other competitions. The season ahead of us is going to be both challenging and rewarding.
We have all thoroughly enjoyed the concept of the HRV Cup. It’s been so exciting and I have to commend HRV for getting behind it and New Zealand Cricket for having the initiative to get the BLACKCAPS involved and Northern Districts Cricket for having the initiative to play in pink. Everyone loved it and supported such a worthy cause.

Skill – Twenty20 wicket keeping

In Twenty20 cricket on average only 12 to 15 balls will go through to the keeper from the bowler.  Therefore the keeper’s role switches to taking the ball cleanly from the outfield with twice as many balls coming from the fielders as opposed from the bowlers. You have to understand the dynamics of the job and understand when to stand up and when to go back from the stumps and the reasons for that decision. Peter McGlashan, being innovative, wears a protective body suit like a hockey goalie which gives him the confidence to stand up to the fast bowlers during a twenty20 game which puts pressure on batsmen and restricts the movement of the batsmen out of his crease to access the ball.

Paul Strang

Coach - Auckland Aces

When we started out playing in the HRV Cup our goal was to play in the final and to win. I’m pleased we got that far but disappointed we didn’t take it out. We focused on what we have achieved and we’ve played some good cricket during the competition. 

We’ve been really focused on playing as a team; however we do have some individuals taking responsibility. Every batsman has won a game for us, our bowling has been consistent and we have been fielding better.

It’s going to be an interesting week for us getting back into the one-day competition. We need to get the players focused on the one-day stuff. After our loss at the HRV Cup final emotions are up and down but we need to get back down to the ground work and get on with playing the pool games in the one-day competition. We don’t have easy fixtures, especially against Otago, so the next few weeks is going to be a huge test of character.

We are hoping to carry our confidence and momentum through to the one-day and Plunket Shield competitions. We are going to look at all the good things we’ve been doing and hopefully get some positive results.

Skill – Twenty20 spin bowling

The real thing has still got to be able to execute whatever you decide to do for different batsmen. They type of delivery needs to be different, whatever you set up to do at the top of the run, practice and be on top of your game.

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