Vettori hails Sidebottom
New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori felt that Ryan Sidebottom¿s bowling had been the deciding factor in the Test series with England.
By Rob Lancaster
Last Updated: 26/03/08 7:45am
New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori felt that Ryan Sidebottom's bowling had been the deciding factor in the Test series with England.
The left-arm seamer picked up 24 wickets in three matches to help the tourists return home with a 2-1 victory, their first on foreign soil since beating South Africa in 2005.
His seven-wicket haul in the Kiwis' first innings of the deciding Test in Napier helped give England the upper hand. They went on to complete a 121-run win.
"I really think he was the difference between the two sides," Vettori told Sky Sports.
"Every time England needed a break, a couple of wickets, he stepped up. He bowled fast, he bowled consistently and he bowled very long spells.
"The way he has bowled throughout these three Tests suggests he's going to be a real handful when we get to England."
Despite the disappointment of letting slip a lead on home soil Vettori was still looking on the bright side ahead of the forthcoming tour to England.
The performances of Ross Taylor, who scored his maiden Test ton in Hamilton and added half centuries in the next two matches, particularly pleased the Kiwis captain.
"For Ross to come in and look pretty much the finished product is exciting," he said.
"He put together a mature innings (in Hamilton). There's always been that rap on him that he could give it away.
"I thought through the whole series he stood up and looked a real Test batsman. He's someone New Zealand can hold their hat on for some time to come."
While Taylor looks set to be around for some time New Zealand will have to now do without Stephen Fleming after he bowed out of international cricket at McLean Park.
The former skipper finished with a Test average of just above 40 and has also been there to help pass on his knowledge to his replacement.
"He's been great," Vettori added. "It's been a little bit of a difficult time for him sitting back after 10 years with the captaincy.
"It's going to be sad to see him go, hopefully in time he will be remembered as one of New Zealand's greats."