NZ need to alter Smith approach


Former New Zealand seamer Simon Doull has called on the Black Caps to change their approach to bowling to Aussie captain Steve Smith after his massive hundred in the Chappell-Hadlee series opener.

Doull was also unhappy with New Zealand’s batting order in which he felt Jimmy Neesham was batting too high up after the allrounder came in at number four.

The former quick told the Radio Sport Breakfast show: “The bowling has to be better.

“Two guys going for 70-odd – 74 for (Matt) Henry, 73 for (Lachie) Ferguson – you can forgive that. It’s going to happen now and then. But two guys going for that many, and then Jimmy Neesham going for 58 which is nearly 10 an over. So you’ve got three guys going at 7s, 8,s and 10s. It’s just too tough to contain.”

Doull felt the Black Caps best bet to counter Smith would be to contain him and try to stop him from scoring.

He added: “Lachie Ferguson is the only one who can possibly hurry him up with the short pitched deliveries, and even then at the back end his pace (in Sydney) was dropping off quiet markedly.

“They’ve got to find a better way. Steve Smith is a bit like a Virat Kohli. You’ve got to bowl almost a foot outside off-stump, set a field for one side of the ground only. You don’t even try and bowl him out.

“Apart from that first one from Trent Boult that they didn’t review, Smith very rarely misses the ball that’s straight. He suckers you into bowling straight so he can work it through the onside.

“You’ve got to make him change his game.”

Doull urged Hesson to replace fergsuon with Tim Southee, something the coach has done for the second ODI.

The former seamer went on: “Ferguson’s drop off (in pace in Sydney) was alarming for me….from 150kmh to 130 late in the piece. I don’t know if it was injury or cramp….but he was clearly battling the other day. I’m not saying he needs to go, I think he needs to be given time.

“You don’t want to mess with his confidence. We know he can bowl quick. I go back to 2010 or 2011 whenever it was when Adam Milne came on the scene. He had a rough start. He got clobbered in his first couple of games. So it’s not unusual. He’s just got to find his feet.

“He’s going to be a valuable back-up to Milne if he’s not available and we need guys who bowl genuinely quick.”

The 47-year-old was left puzzled by the Black Caps batting order: “I didn’t understand a thing, I really didn’t. It was strange to me.

“I think Colin Munro gets pidgeon-holed a little bit. I think he would be a slightly better player if given time, so I’d like to see him bat at No. 4.

“I know Jimmy Neesham did an OK job with his 34 off 36 but when you look through the two records of those guys at domestic level, Neesham is well down the pecking order.

“He’s more of a test player. Look at his one-day stats. He’s going a six and a half an over with the ball and he averages 21 in one-day international cricket.

“Now they’re not stats for a No. 4. His test stats are outstanding. I just think we’ve got some of these guys around the wrong way. We throw them into the wrong form of the game.

“We know Neesham can find the boundary. I’d have him down where Mitchell Santner was.

“We need to find out what our No. 1 one-day international line-up is going to be. They need to give Munro some time at 4 while Ross Taylor is away and he can drop to five when Ross Taylor comes back. Then you’ve got a pretty good looking top five

“I don’t like the fact they are toying around with it. If they’re going to stick with Colin Munro, give him as much time as possible.

“Don’t pidgeon-hole him to batting towards the end of the innings and finishing a game off. Let him play, work his way into an innings and if he’s got the opportunity to go hard right at the end of the innings gets the chance, then good on him.”