New Zealand Players

New Zealand Players

Post by Geoff Bethel » Wed, 26 Mar 1997 04:00:00

Simon Doull

The archtypical swing bowler, but a particularly good exponent of his craft.
Made the NZ side perhaps a little before his time, but always looked to be a
wicket taker right from the start because of his ability to swing his briskish
fast mediums both ways. Has had problems with accuracy for three reasons:
Firstly because of the need to keep the ball up to the bat he is prone to
bowling half volleys. Secondly he often gets so much swing he can't control
the new ball - at one stage of his career he wasn't given the new ball for
this very reason. Thirdly he has so much variety at his disposal that he
hasn't always settled down to the best bowling plan, preferring to mix it up
rather than concentrate on a stock ball for a given batsman and use his
variety as a surprise weapon. At test level, his wicket-taking potential has
always outweighed any inaccuracy, particularly as he has often been the ONLY
NZ bowler likely to take wickets. At ODI level he can, at times, be a
liability - especially in the first 15 overs.
   Never a permanent fixture in the side until 1996/7 when he has, at last,
started to develop consistency of line, length, and purpose. He won a test for
NZ in Pakistan in 1996 and generally played well for the whole of that
international season - not only against Pakistan but also in the home series
against England and Sri Lanka. Has tended to settle for bowling the out***
to all batsmen whether left or right handed and use the in-ducker as the
surprise ball, thereby giving the batsman a harder leave. His test average
has always been in the 28-30 range and this is right up with the best of NZ
bowlers except for Richard Hadlee. With the greater accuracy now being shown,
it looks likely to come down even further. He has the potential to be
remembered as NZ's second best bowler.
   A bit of a slogger with the bat and a safe fielder in the deep.

Geoff Allott

First selected by Glenn Turner for the test series against Zimbabwe in 1995/6
when NZ had an injury crisis and we were looking to give test experience to
new players of quality. Although he was moderately successful he was not
selected for the subsequent ODI series or for WC96. A quick left armer in the
Richard Collinge "dig it in" mould he was considered too inaccurate for
limited overs.
   Over the winter he built up his strength and bowled really well for his
province at the start of 1996/7. A great game for NZA versus England in 1997
earned him a well deserved recall to the test team, and he bowled far better
in two tests than his figures might indicate. Also selected for the England
ODI series in 1997 and made a complete mockery of the earlier judgements
about his accuracy.
   He bowls a good accurate stock ball, is not put off by left/right
combinations, and is prepared to bend his back to generate extra pace.
Unfortunately, prior to the 1997 Sri Lanka series, he developed an over-use
back injury which we all hope does not prevent him from reaching his true
potential which is there for all to see.

Shane Thomson

An attacking player with a great deal of talent in all three departments of
the game, particularly at limited overs. His overall record would be better
but for a certain looseness. As a batsman he has scoring ability all round
the wicket off either foot with excellent timing, but he is a very nervous
starter outside the off stump, and finds it harder against bowling of the
highest class. When settled at the wicket he is a delight to watch, and an
rrr of 7-8 per over is not at all safe. Won a test against Pakistan in 1994
with 120* in a stand of 154 with Bryan Young after initially having to face
reverse swing. As an offspinner he gets more turn than most, but can be
wayward at times. Won NZ an ODI against Zimbabwe in 1996 when all the
other bowlers had failed. In the field, and particularly at cover or
mid-wicket, he is consistently in the very highest class. In short, an
inconsistent match winner. Lost his place under the new regime, but an
injury to newcomer Greg Loveridge gave him another chance in the WC96 squad.
Originally a medium-fast bowler, but forced into off-spinning through injury.

Craig Spearman

The advanced guard of coach Glenn Turner`s "pick skill and give it experience"
policy. Selected for New Zealand in 1995/6 after barely two Shell Trophy
seasons for Auckland, he was thrown in at the deep end against Wasim Akram and
Waqar Younis. He acquitted himself creditably with a top score of 48 (ODI
game), scoring his runs quickly, but showed a tendency to get out in a
"comfort zone" of 20-40. Against Zimbabwe, in his 3rd test match, he put this
right with an innings of 112 in which he played all his shots, but only after
a hitherto uncharacteristic cautious start. Has made a test 50 as an opener
in the West Indies at a time when fellow-opener Roger Twose struggled to get
bat on ball. A good front foot driver on the off side, hitting on the up if
necessary, and makes more runs when he plays in that style.
    Always looks to get the one-day innings off to a flyer in the first 15
overs - particularly with his favourite shot, the pick up off the front foot
over mid-wicket from a ball pitched up on the stumps - but this has led to
his downfall many times. As a result of this he lost confidence and was
dropped during the tour to Sharjah and Pakistan in 1996 from both ODI and test
squads. Young enough to come back again and selection for NZA vs England in
1997 showed that he is still in the picture.

 Danny Morrison

The mainstay of the New Zealand pace attack since the retirement of Richard
Hadlee, and a stout hearted trier. 150 test wickets, but at a higher
average than he would like. Lacking the height necessary to get steep
bounce from just short of a drivable length, he compensates by bowling a
full length and drawing the batsman forward. His best ball is the late
out*** with the new ball, and this is frequently unplayable without
taking the edge. Being a little full at times, and not having that ability
to bring the odd one back, he is a little predictable and hittable. He can
also bowl a dangerous lifting ball, but has to bowl it short thus giving
the batsman more runs if he gets it wrong. Very pacey - much more so than
most critics realise - and outpaced the entire West Indian quartet in
1994/5. In 1994, doubtless inspired by Waqar Younis, he learned how
to bowl reverse swing. He now possess an inswinging yorker which can clean
up a tail at the death in limited overs. Has a ODI hat-trick in just those
circumstances.
     With a number of injuries taking their toll, he lost his place
in the test side after the first test of 1997 against England during which he
was very wayward, but saved his side with the bat, and was not selected in
the later ODI squads.
     Safe fielder in the deep with a good throw.

Dion Nash

Think of Dion Nash and one`s mind inevitably conjours up images of the
Lord`s test, 1994. At provincial level at home he was always rated as
something of an all-rounder, but in this game, after an ordinary start to
his test career, he suddenly bowled out of his skin taking 11 for 169 off
54 overs in the two England innings. Scoring 56 with the bat in his only
innings, this was an all-round performance that was so very close to being
a match winning one. Getting good away movement using the slope, the
right-handers were finding him virtually unplayable. He won himself a
contract with Middlesex for the following season, but was carrying an
injury when he went. On his return he had lost form completely. Bowling
wide on the crease and with head falling away badly he was angling in to
the right handers, lost his movement completely, and was spraying it all
over the place. He worked hard in the nets to rectify matters and, was
partially successful. Never bats high enough at test level to fulfill his
potential in that area, but he is a real athlete in the deep, with a strong
accurate throw.
   Another of the NZ seamers with major injury problems, At the end of the
1996/7 season back problems looked likely to prevent him bowling again
although he did play for his province occasionally as a batsman only.

Chris Harris

Nathan Astle

A very confident, pugnacious street fighter who has made a very big
impression in the limited overs game at the highest level. Not only will he
get the innings off to a rousing start, but he has shown the ability to
carry on well into the accumulation phase with 3 ODI centuries and other
big scores. At test level he has settled into the no.5 position, once again
scoring 3 centuries up till the end of 1996/7. An unorthodox batsman in that
he likes to play the cross-batted shots off the front foot. A bludgeoner
rather than a caresser. Look particularly for the front foot cut, and a
pull/sweep. His use of the front foot gets him into trouble, particularly at
test level. Not being too good a judge of the full pitched ball, he often
attempts to hit the good length wide one through the covers. Consequently,
whilst his confidence enables him to score 100s, he is terribly inconsistent,
making many low scores. At ODI level he might also try an ambitious shot off
the stumps and get bowled.
   At provincial level, and on slow tracks, he has an ability to bowl 10 very
miserly overs of slow mediums but, not doing much with the ball, finds this
harder to do at the top level. His bowling is also useful at test level where
he has shown himself to be a part-time wicket taker. When he first played for
his province he was in fact seen as a bowler who could bat in the lower order
and it is to be hoped he can develop his bowling still further and become a
true batting all-rounder in the mould of Coney or Congdon.
  A safe fielder at 3rd slip, gully, or in the deep.