Nottingham: New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori believes his side can still salvage something from their tour of England following their Test series defeat if they triumph in the upcoming one-dayers.
The Black Caps were thrashed by an innings and nine runs in the third Test at Trent Bridge here Sunday as they went down 2-0 in a three-match series.
It was the second match in a row where England had won with more than a day to spare and followed their 2-1 Test series win in New Zealand in March.
But the one-off Twenty20 clash at Old Trafford on June 13 and the five match limited overs series which starts two days later at the Riverside could well go New Zealand’s way.
The semi-finalists at last year’s World Cup, where they beat Michael Vaughan’s men in their opening match, New Zealand defeated England 3-1 in a One-day series on home soil before the Test campaign got underway.
In hard-hitting wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum and all-rounder Scott Styris they have players who can turn a game and Vettori believes his largely inexperienced side is more suited to the 50-over format.
“We’re a lot more confident in that form, maybe because it’s shorter and we don’t have to perform for very long periods,” Vettori said.
But the left-arm spinner warned past performance was no guide to future success in the limited overs game. “We know we have to pick it up though, because England do have the momentum, and their squad doesn’t change much and neither does ours. We have to be convincing if we’re to get anything out of this tour at all.”
However, it wasn’t as if New Zealand didn’t have their chances in the Test campaign. At Old Trafford, where England won by six wickets, they were on top until left-arm spinner Monty Panesar sparked a second innings collapse.
And at Trent Bridge, they reduced England to 86 for five only to find themselves following on after being unable to cope in swinging conditions which man-of-the-match James Anderson exploited on his way to career-best figures of seven for 43.
“It sums up the state we are in,” said Vettori. “We are able to compete for a period of time but unable to compete for a whole five days. “If you look back at the six Tests, the only time we did that was in Hamilton and we won.
“Unfortunately every other time we haven’t been able to keep up with the pace of England. I suppose it is a lack of ability on our part and a lack of fortitude as well.”
New Zealand played just four Tests in 10 months before they faced England in March and two of those were against a struggling Bangladesh team.
Their next Test series isn’t until October when they face Bangladesh again and Vettori admitted it was tough for the likes of young batsmen Ross Taylor, Jamie How and Daniel Flynn, all of whom had their moments against England, to adjust to conditions in the five-day game.
“The only way you can improve is by playing more and giving young guys like Daniel Flynn, Jamie How and Ross Taylor the chance to play day after day of Test cricket.
“But that’s not going to happen. We don’t have too much say in our scheduling. If Tests are going to be few and far between, we’ve got to perform when we do turn up.”
Meanwhile coach John Bracewell said there was no alternative but to be patient with the current crop of players. “We can’t afford to panic,” said the former Test off-spinner.
“Our cupboard isn’t that full but I think we’ve picked the right guys. We’ve just got to keep exposing them to international cricket.”