World Cup Players - New Zealand

World Cup Players - New Zealand

Post by Geoff Bethel » Mon, 05 Feb 1996 04:00:00

World Cup 1996. NZ squad portraits and biographical details:

Craig Murray Spearman. Born 4/7/72, Auckland.
1st class debut 1993/4. Auckland.
Right-handed opening batsman.
Pronunciation: Krayg Speer'mun

The advanced guard of new 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. Look for him to get the 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. He is also a good front foot driver on the off side,
hitting on the up if necessary.

  ************************************************************

Nathan John Astle. Born 15/9/71, Christchurch.
1st class debut 1991/2. Canterbury.
Right-handed opening or middle order batsman and right-arm slow
medium bowler.
Pronunciation: Nay'thun Ass'tul

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 2 ODI centuries and other big scores. 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. At
provincial level, and on slow tracks, he has an ability to bowl
10 very miserly overs but, not doing much with the ball, finds
this harder to do at the top level. Nevertheless look for him to
help out if any of the regular bowlers has a bad day. Much to
his dismay he has been stereotyped in a number of ways by the
media. Originally he was seen as a bowler who could bat in the
lower order, whereas batting is his real strength. Latterly he
has been seen as a one-day specialist, whereas he sees himself
as a test player as well. He has played a few recent tests and
has a good chance to succeed at that level.

  **********************************************************

Stephen John Fleming. Born 1/4/73, Christchurch.
1st class debut 1991/2. Canterbury.
Left-handed top order batsman.
Pronunciation: Stee'vun Flemm'ing

A very elegant batsman with great timing and touch who has been
shunted up to the key #3 position, perhaps by default, when he,
himself, prefers the middle order. He has played for New Zealand
for more than two full seasons now, and it is well known that he
has yet to score a century, either at test or at ODI level.
Nevertheless his record shows consistency and he plays many of
his best innings when they are most needed. An enigma at the
crease - he can concentrate, but then may do something silly.
Never, ever, is he boring to watch. He is at his best when
standing tall and driving in the "vee," particularly to the off
side. Like most left-handers, he has a weakness against the ball
angled across him, often being caught behind. He is also prone to
hitting across the line to leg off the front foot. At #3 he will
be expected to adjust his game to the needs of the moment, and he
does have a past record in both a hitting and an accumulating
role. His ability at slip is a big plus for the opening bowlers,
particularly with that excellent slip Bryan Young not selected.

  ******************************************************************

Roger Graham Twose. Born 17/4/68, Torquay, England.
1st class debut 1989. Warwickshire.
Played 1st class cricket in NZ for Central Districts and,
currently, Wellington.
Left-handed opening or top order batsman and right-arm slow
medium bowler.
Pronunciation: Roj'er 2z

A typical "makes the most of his ability" player. Waits to play
the shots he knows he can; good concentration; reads the game
well; good influence on some of the flashier types around him.
But it's more than that. Desperate to play at international
level, he never quite made the breakthrough into the full
England squad so, like Dipak Patel before him, played the English
off-season in New Zealand. He liked what he saw, married and
settled down here, and became qualified last April. Selected
immediately (for the India tour), he has made an excellent start
in both types of game despite being shunted up and down the
batting order. At ODI level he has recently occupied the pivotal
#4 position. His reading of the game allows him to pace the
innings, pushing the single if his partner is set, hitting out if
the run rate needs a boost, and always taking charge whatever his
role of the moment. His bowling is of the attacking variety,
described recently as "a little bit of this, and a little bit of
that." So, a good partnership breaker, and he is well capable of
bowling more overs if a regular man is suffering.

   **********************************************************

Christopher Lance Cairns. Born 13/6/70, Picton.
Son of Bernard Lance Cairns.
1st class debut 1988. Nottinghamshire.
New Zealand province: Canterbury.
Right-handed middle order batsman and right-arm fast bowler.
Pronunciation: Kriss Kairns

One of those players with "ability" written all over him. Even
at a very early age he was earmarked as a star of the future.
He played for New Zealand at the very tender age of 19 against
Australia at Perth (11/89) and it seemed a matter of course that
he would fulfill all his potential in a very big hurry. But then
it all went very wrong. His bowling action rendered him injury
prone, and the worst of these was a back injury which took ages
to clear up and prevented him bowling during that period. His
other injuries enabled the cynics to have a field day,
particularly when played the northern hemisphere season. Two and
a half years ago came the most shattering blow of all. His
sister was killed in a train accident near Christchurch. During
this period, his batting was still developing, but his bowling
seemed to be going backwards - very wayward and expensive. With a
changed action, he was available again for the India tour last
November. At last injury-free, his bowling was transformed. His
pace and penetration were back, but best of all he was more
accurate than ever before. With his batting still holding up
well, and consistently so - he got a test century recently
against Zimbabwe which included 9 sixes, and some straight
hitting and cleanly struck reverse sweeps - he is arguably the best
all-rounder in the world today. Injured again in a recent ODI
(groin and calf), he is back under that injury cloud again. We
all hope that he will recover in time.

   ****************************************************************

Adam Craig Parore. Born 23/1/71, Auckland.
1st class debut 1988/9. Auckland.
Currently plays his 1st class cricket for Northern districts.
Right-handed middle order batsman and wicket-keeper.
Pronunciation: Ad'um Pu-rory'

A versatile batsman and one of only two in the squad who has made
centuries at both test and ODI level. A natural wicket-keeper who
was persuaded to specialise in batting to accommodate captain
Lee Germon. Batted in lower-middle order when keeping, but showed
ability even then. At ODI level he has batted at #3,
anchoring the innings through the middle stages by rotating the
strike. Latterly he has been used at #6 where his ability to hit
at run-per-ball-plus and his speed between the wickets ensures a
good acceleration of the innings in the final 10 overs. At test
level, by way of contrast, he made a gutsy century from #7
against a West Indies pace quartet. A major weakness as a batsman
(in both games) is poor judgement of a run, sometimes forgetting
that his partner has to make his ground as well. Initially he
found the transition from keeper-batsman to specialist difficult,
but is regaining form just at the right time. Good, if at times
inconsistent, fielder. When the 15 overs is up look for him
sweeping on the cover boundary with sliding saves.

  ***********************************************************

Shane Alexander Thomson. Born 27/1/69, Hamilton.
1st class debut 1987/8. Northern Districts.
Right-handed middle-order batsman and off-break bowler.
Pronunciation: Shayne Tomm'sun

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
off-spinner he gets more turn than most, but can be wayward at
times. Recently he won NZ an ODI against Zimbabwe 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 has given
him another chance. Originally a medium-fast bowler, but forced
into off-spinning through injury.

  ***********************************************************

Dipak Narshibhai Patel. Born 25/10/58, Nairobi, Kenya.
1st class debut 1976. Worcestershire.
Plays 1st class cricket in New Zealand for Auckland.
Right-handed middle or lower order batsman and off-break bowler.
Pronunciation: Dee'pak Pu-tell'

Played many seasons at Worcestershire with coach Glenn Turner.
Had the ambition to play test cricket and, like Roger Twose did
later, emigrated to New Zealand where he could see greater
opportunity. Played well as a stylish middle order batsman for
Auckland and his graduation to the test team was eagerly awaited.
Held back by lack of concentration when set, lack of confidence,
a few bad decisions early in his career, and culminating in his
being run out for 99 in what would have been his only test
century, his second-string off-spinning gradually assumed the
ascendency, particularly at limited overs. In WC92 he was
sensationally used as an opening bowler against - initially -
Australia in an attempt to counteract the hitting over the
in-field during the first 15 overs. He succeeded spectacularly,
and was often used in the same role in other games, both at
WC92 and since. Not a big turner of the ball, his economy record
is second to only Gavin Larsen of the current squad. His batting
has fallen away and his average is lower the further down the
order he bats - usually about #8 these days.

   ************************************************************

Gavin Rolf Larsen. Born 27/9/62, Wellington.
1st class debut 1984/5. Wellington.
Right-handed lower order batsman and right-arm medium bowler.
Pronunciation: Gav'in Lar'sun

It seems an age ago that Gavin Larsen was just another provincial
middle order batsman with aspirations limited to holding his
place in the Wellington side. The need for five bowlers in
limited overs cricket changed all that. Most teams have a "5th,"
and he worked his way up from that role with Wellington to the
class, economical, ODI bowler he is today. A much misunderstood
player, particularly by overseas critics who have no local
knowledge of the depth available to the New Zealand side or of
the player himself, he is one of those bowlers who comes on to
the bat quicker than you think. Watch him from side-on sometime.
On a typical slow turner he can make it hard for the batsman to
even hit it off the square, but he is at his best on a slow
seaming track. Keeping it just short of a drivable length he will
get away movement off the seam and be both penetrative and well
nigh impossible to hit. Many times in the past he has rescued New
Zealand from a wayward start with the new ball, and of late has
often come on well within the 15 overs. Of course his batting has
suffered, but recently he won an ODI against Pakistan with the
bat at the death after almost doing it in the previous game. As a
reliable player, a thinker, and a provincial captain, he has a
lot to offer in the "brains-trust" department, and he was made
vice-captain of the touring party to England in 1994 even though
his expection of test play was not high.

  *********************************************************

Dion Joseph Nash. Born 20/11/71, Auckland.
1st class debut 1990/1. Northern Districts.
Played much 1st class cricket for Otago, but is currently back
with Northern Districts. Has played in England, 1995, for
Middlesex.
Right-handed lower order batsman and right-arm fast medium
bowler.
Pronunciation: Dee'on 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
has been working hard in the nets trying to rectify matters and,
at last, seems to have turned the corner, though without being
quite back to his best. Never bats high enough to fulfill his
potential in that area, but he is a real athlete in the deep,
with a strong accurate throw. It will be interesting to see if
his form warrants a berth in the starting line-up.

  **********************************************************

Daniel Kyle Morrison. Born 3/2/66, Auckland.
1st class debut 1985/6. Auckland.
Has played in England for Lancashire.
Right-handed lower order batsman and right-arm fast bowler.
Pronunciation: Dann'ee Mo'rri-sun  [Mo = short o]

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. Two years ago,
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. Safe fielder in the deep
with a good throw.

  *************************************************************

Chris Zinzan Harris. Born 20/11/69, Christchurch.
Son of the late Parke Gerald Zinzan Harris.
1st class debut 1989/90. Canterbury.
Left-handed middle order batsman and right-arm medium bowler.
Pronunciation: Kriss Ha'riss

Another of those much more suited to limited overs at
international level. Has a stance at the wicket very like Richard
Hadlee and, like Hadlee, enjoys width on the off side so he can
free his arms and hit off either foot through cover. Dominates at
provincial level where he can play either the hitting or the
accumulating game, but has hitherto found it harder in ODIs.
Discarded after the tour of RSA (1994/5) during which his form
fell away - he had a great start in the lead up games but was not
selected for the tests - he has lifted his game a notch or two
during this period. As a bowler he had the figures of WC92, but
much of this was due to cheap wickets in the slog overs. Regarded
by coach Glenn Turner as being "too predictable and hittable"
with his early inswing, he has gone away and developed medium
paced leg cutters and leg spinners for variety. Whether he makes
a starting lineup or not, he is a certainty to be involved in all
the games since he is such a lithe, athletic, fieldsman at point.
Lethal with the ball in hand and with the batsman out of his
ground.

  ************************************************************

Robert John Kennedy. Born 3/6/72, Dunedin.
1st class debut 1993/4. Otago.
Right-handed lower order batsman and right-arm medium fast
bowler.
Pronunciation: Robb'ut Kenn'udy

Something of a wildcard selection because of his very limited 1st
class experience, he has nevertheless impressed the selectors
with his form for development squads. Selected for the Zimbabwe
test series after showing good form in the Academy XI games, he
made the WC squad largely because he can bowl line and length.
Tall, getting in close to the stumps, with a very still head at
delivery, and getting movement each way, he has the raw potential
to be a miserly bowler for many seasons to come. However his
inexperience was amply demonstrated in his first test match when
he failed to control the ball during the reverse swing overs. He
admitted that he had "never seen anything like this before" and
had to go to the nets to work it out. Given a chance under
pressure in the Zimbabwe ODI series, bowling with the new ball
and at the death, he acquitted himself better than his raw
figures would indicate in one game, but was very wayward in
another.

  *********************************************************

Lee Kenneth Germon (captain). Born 4/11/68, Christchurch.
1st class debut 1987/8. Canterbury.
Right-handed middle or lower order batsman and wicket-keeper.
Pronunciation: Lee Jer-monn'

After the controversy during the tour of RSA in 1994/5 and the
poor form during the home centenary season immediately following
that, the administration of the New Zealand game at the top level
fell apart. Part of the shake-up involved appointing a new coach
(Glenn Turner) and this, in turn, led to a change of New Zealand
captain. Turner wanted someone with proven leadership skills, who
had the respect of the players, and who could maintain discipline
both on and off the field by his own example. He had no
hesitiation in going for Lee Germon, a player with no previous
test experience, but who had been on the tour of South Africa
and had proven leadership skills at provincial level. With
Canterbury, he was required to take over an ailing team, many of
whom were more experienced, and he did an excellent job of
moulding them into the best provincial team in the country. He is
a keeper who can bat in the lower-middle order, and a place was
found for him in the team by converting Adam Parore into a
specialist batsman. As a keeper he is a good, if inconsistent,
player and enjoys standing up. Keeper/captain is a very
demanding role - both tasks requiring absolute concentration.
Much of his inconsistency as a keeper can be put down to that.
As a batsman he loves to pepper the boundary square on the off
side off the back foot, and his batting form as captain in
India was ample proof of his ability to lead by example. That
the New Zealand team has turned the corner and that Lee Germon
is captain are not coincidental.

  *********************************************************