Batting still a concern despite 1st Test win: Hadlee

Published: Monday, December 16, 2002, 20:26 [IST]
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Wellington: Former legendary all-rounder Richard Hadlee feels the New Zealand batting has left a lot to be desired despite the team's convincing victory in the first Test against India. New Zealand thrashed India by 10 wickets inside three days at the Basin Reserve on Saturday to gain a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, but Hadlee said its batting remained a concern. The hosts have named the same squad for the second and last Test, starting at Hamilton on Thursday. "Had it been a three-Test series things may have been different," said Hadlee, who is also the chairman of selectors. "We stuck with the same side and part of that reason was it is a two-Test series. Keeping the same 12 together also helps prepare the side for the One-day series coming up. "We were very pleased with how the bowlers went, but the batting remains a concern. We talked a lot about batting," Hadlee was quoted in a local daily on Monday. "Mark Richardson was outstanding, but some have struggled for runs at domestic level and it continued in the first Test," he said. Left-handed opener Richardson was named man-of-the-match for playing a crucial knock of 89 under pressure. Nathan Astle was the second highest scorer with 41 as most of the New Zealand batsmen failed to cope with left-arm Indian pacer Zaheer Khan, who finished with 5 for 53. Richardson's innings helped the hosts reach 247 in reply to India's 161 before fast bowlers Shane Bond (4 for 33), debutant Jacob Oram (3 for 28) and Daryl Tuffey (3 for 35) dismissed the tourists for 121 in the second innings. "He (Oram) gets bounce and makes life awkward for batsmen. We certainly see him as a future third seamer and more a bowler that offers a handy batting option," Hadlee said. New Zealand team for second Test: Stephen Fleming (captain), Mark Richardson, Lou Vincent, Craig McMillan, Nathan Astle, Scott Styris, Jacob Oram, Robbie Hart, Daniel Vettori, Daryl Tuffey, Shane Bond and Michael Mason.

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