Team will rally behind Vettori, says McCullum


Adelaide : New Zealand vice-captain Brendon McCullum said that the team will rally around beleaguered captain Daniel Vettori in the second Test against Australia starting here Friday.

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Vettori is under pressure after losing seven of 13 Tests since taking over the captaincy from Stephen Fleming and a series loss to Australia could see the Black Caps fall to eighth in world Test rankings. The visitors are trailing 0-1 in the two match series.

Vettori was in a spiky mood when he arrived in Adelaide Tuesday and McCullum said that any leader would feel the strain of the tough rebuilding phase.

“Right through New Zealand’s history, probably barring Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe, we have struggled for really world-class players,” McCullum was quoted as saying by Herald Sun. “We understand that and know we have to get better across the board.”

New Zealand have been humbled by South Africa and England and last month overcame Bangladesh only because of Vettori’s form with bat and ball.

McCullum said the team and incoming coach, former Warwickshire batsman Andy Moles, had to give Vettori greater support. Moles, 47, would replace coach John Bracewell, who has held the job for five years, after the Adelaide Test.

McCullum said: “We hope the new coach offers the same viewpoint and passion as John Bracewell and the rest of us have to take this team forward.

“I think you will see Daniel and, more so the senior players, try and take more of an ownership, accountability within the side. That’s a healthy state. Dan holds a lot of aura within our side. We have got a very strong leader there already.”

McCullum said Bracewell would be missed.

“From the team’s perspective, everyone who has played for New Zealand under ‘Braces’ has massive respect for him. The team comes first in his mind and we haven’t produced the results to support the work he has done,” he said.