Vettori hails Wright influence
New Zealand have been benefiting from coach John Wright's knowledge of Indian conditions.
Last Updated: 02/03/11 3:22pm
New Zealand's World Cup campaign has been boosted by coach John Wright's knowledge of Indian conditions, says skipper Daniel Vettori.
Wright coached India from 2000 to 2005 before returning to his native New Zealand, where he eventually succeeded Mark Greatbatch in charge of the national team last December.
The Black Caps thrashed Kenya in their Group A opener but then lost to Australia by seven wickets in a match overshadowed by the Christchurch earthquake.
"John has been great, invaluable to the team," said Vettori. "He has not only brought a sense of confidence but also love for the game. His experience in these conditions has been invaluable.
Vettori, who will stand down from the captaincy at the end of the tournament after four years in the job, wants his team to put on a good show for the people back home.
"It has been difficult for the guys. Like I said after the Australian game, we can't use it as an excuse as what they (earthquake victims) have gone through is a lot worse than what we can imagine," he said.
"It's our responsibility for the people back home to put up a professional performance and a winning performance."
New Zealand bowling coach Allan Donald, meanwhile, has leapt to the defence of Hamish Bennett.
The seam bowler has been criticised for conceding 63 runs in just seven overs in the loss to Australia.
"He's going to leak a few runs, but what we can't do is for him to slip into a holding or non-aggressive role," Donald said in the NZ Herald.
"He's a very young guy and it's my job to remind him what his job is."
Bennett, who was the pick of the bowlers against Kenya with figures of 4-16, did take the wickets of Australian openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin and Donald took encouragement from the fact he did not hide when things were not going his way.
"He never backed off, he kept coming and that's where we see him going in the future," added the South African.
"He's going to learn a lot about playing against top-class opposition in this World Cup."
That is unlikely to come against a Zimbabwe side who have also been thumped by Australia, losing by 91 runs in their opening match.
That said, New Zealand can ill afford anything but a win, especially with games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka still to come, with their opponents level with them on two points in Group A courtesy of their 175-run destruction of Canada last time out.
The Black Caps are expected to be able to call on Vettori and batsman Scott Styris despite injury concerns.
Styris has a bruised finger after being hit by a delivery from Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson, while Vettori has a minor hamstring problem.