ABU DHABI // When New Zealand - with no coach, no vice captain and no idea when either will be replaced - line up against Pakistan at the Zayed Cricket Stadium next week, the focus will firmly be on their captain Daniel Vettori. The all-rounder, 30, has been appointed coach on a temporary basis following the termination of Andy Moles's contract on Saturday after many team members were unhappy over his contribution.
And with the authorities feeling there is no need to have a deputy to Vettori, the pressure has fallen squarely on the broad shoulders of their most reliable player. While Vettori said he was happy filling the void for the forthcoming limited-overs series in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, he added he had no intention of retaining the role permanently. "I suppose I'm worried in some way, it's difficult trying to do everything, but I have been performing well so far," he said.
"I only want to do this job for a short period of time and if I can give everything to it for that period, hopefully we can turn around some results." Vettori will be aided by the assistant coach Mark O'Donnell and manager Dave Currie when the Black Caps play their first of three One-Day Internationals with Pakistan in Abu Dhabi next Tuesday. Following further ODIs on November 6 and 9, Vettori will take his side to Dubai for Twenty20s on November 12 and 13.
Vettori is sure O'Donnell and Currie will help develop his side's youngsters, but he is looking to his more experienced players to stand up and be counted. "It's incredibly important for the young guys coming into the team that they are looked after well, a lot of people will try to pick up the slack and try and make sure that nothing is left alone," he said. "[But] it's a balancing act. You want your group of senior players to be strong and able to look after themselves and develop their own games and be in form, the whole time. The real thing about that is as long as guys are in form then I think you can make it work."
Brendon McCullum, who has lost the vice captaincy, is confident the decision to strip him of his role will work in his favour. "I still have some fairly big goals I want to achieve for New Zealand, including the captaincy, and this has not changed that," he said. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org