Saturday, March 27, 2010
It is great to see that Vettori has now played 100 tests for the Black Caps. He has been a great servant for the NZ team as he has got over 300 test wickets and has scored over 3000 runs.
Vettori has carried NZ’S bowling attack on his shoulders for many years. Chris Cairns got wickets, but he was injury prone. Bond had so much talent, but again was injury prone and now has retired from test cricket. So, Vettori has done a great job for the Black Caps as he has been consistent as a bowler. He has scored vital runs lower down the order too.
One first saw a bespectacled Vettori against England in 97. It was a series in which he showed great control for a 18 year old and troubled all England’s batsmen. He has never been a big spinner of the ball, but clever changes of pace, a bit of flight, the arm ball and more importantly his control has helped him to become a good bowler.
Early in his career, he showed his class by taking crucial wickets in places like Srilanka. If I am right, he even helped the Black caps to defeat Lanka in a test match in 98 as he teamed up with the off spinner Wiseman to take NZ to victory.
In England in 99 Dion Nash and Cairns bowled superbly, but Vettori did chip in with crucial wickets. It was also the time when he started to improve his batting. I do remember him playing a gutsy innings at Oval with Chris Cairns playing a magical innings to turn the match on its head as NZ won that series, but one can't forget Vettori's contribution in that match. At that time he used to score lots of his runs through the third man and the square leg. He still does it, but nowadays he has a better range of shots and a better defence too.
One also has to remember that he had to battle with back problems and it looked like it may threaten his career! He had to even change his action slightly, but he has made a fine come back from it.
As the years went by, Bond came into the attack and bowlers like Tuffey started to do well, but Bond being injury prone and after he left for ICL, it was Vettori who became the main bowler. He took up the mantle of captaining the side as well, as Fleming retired from international cricket. He continued to bowl well and even played some fine knocks like one can remember his hundred against India recently. He almost took NZ to a fine victory against England at Old Trafford in 08 with a fine spell of bowling, but only to see his inexperienced batsmen throwing their wickets away to Monty and England winning the match. He also played an important part in a fine victory against England in NZ at Hamilton in 2008. The Black caps had to depend on him even against Bangladesh in 08, as he took wickets and scored runs to help them from avoiding embarrassment in Bangladesh. He continued to show his worth against the Lankan team away from home in 2009 by scoring a gallant hundred in the second test though others couldn't support him and they lost. He was consistent as a all-rounder against Pakistan at home and even in this series against Australia, he has come good both as a batsman and as a bowler. To be frank, he has become the Mr. reliable for the Black Caps team.
As a captain too he is doing an admirable job, especially when one considers the limited resources he has at his disposal.
So, one can think of him as a very good bowler, as a batsman he has improved, a decent captain and nowadays he is also a selector! A very good cricketer indeed.