New Zealand Cricket (NZC) selector Gavin Larsen has castigated the Test side for not seizing the “key moments", with hosts England taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
New Zealand have lost both the Tests by five wickets and head into the third game at Leeds from June 23 hoping to salvage a consolation win to end the tour on a high. On the other hand, England under new coach, former New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum, have reversed their string of defeats in the Ashes and on the tour of West Indies and are looking to make a clean sweep of the series.
Larsen said he was “really disappointed" with the side’s showing, adding that two or three batters had let the team down.
“It has boiled down to some key moments and that sounds a bit cliche but that’s very factual in the game of cricket, if you don’t seize the key moment then you could be on the wrong side of the result, and I think that’s exactly what’s happened, “I’ve got a variety of thoughts," Larsen told SENZ Mornings.
“England has played with I believe possibly a little bit more energy and I’m probably not surprised with the appointment of Baz (McCullum) and Ben Stokes is the new captain. They (England) absolutely burst out of the gates and we were expecting it, we were primed up for that, but I give them full credit for the way they have played."
Larsen conceded that had Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell — the pair combined to score 527 runs over the four innings — backfired, New Zealand would have been far worse.
“I’ve been a bit disappointed with two or three of our batsmen, we’ve got some starts but we haven’t kicked on and when I look at Mitchell and Blundell, and what they have produced in those two Tests, that has been right out of the top draw and if we’d had just one other batsman who’d kicked on from starts and put the big (score) on the board, it might have been different," he added.