Kiwi manager attributes success to homework

Published: Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 3:59 [IST]
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Kolkata: The ''satisfactory'' performance of New Zealand against India in the Test and triangular series matches were a result of ''homework'' and ''mental toughness'', team manager Lindsay Crocker said on Monday. "The success against India on its soil was a result of the solid homework we did before the tour taking into consideration factors like pitch and noise conditions and climate," Crocker said. Besides, the services of New Zealand Cricket's sports psychologist Gilbert Enoka helped players to develop mental toughness to adapt to Indian conditions and play to their potential, Crocker, who was here with the New Zealand team en route to Hyderabad, said. The preparations, he said ''was reflected in the performance'' as the Kiwis remained undefeated against India in the two Test matches in Ahmedabad and Chandigarh as also in the ongoing triangular series.

The manager, however, regretted the ''disappointing'' losses suffered against Australia in all the three tri-series matches. "We did not have our full strength in the absence of Shane Bond as also an injured Chris Cairns. So the overall performance in India can be said to be somewhat satisfactory," he said. The team manager, who refused to speak about cricketing strategy or plans for the crucial tie against India in their last league encounter of the tri-series, merely said, "we are looking forward to the game."

The Black Caps, following their loss to Australia in Guwahati on Sunday now face a do-or-die situation in the November 15 match against India. To boost the morale of the team before the crunch match, Crocker said, the services of psychologist Enoka would be required again. Enoka, who remained with the New Zealand team during the two Test matches, would therefore be brought in again in the last leg of the tour, he said.

Besides, it would also help players gear up mentally for the upcoming Pakistan tour were the Kiwis are slated to play five One-day matches to compensate for the unfinished Test in Karachi last year, which was abandoned following a bomb blast outside the team's hotel. Crocker added that the team was concerned about security there. "Security will remain a concern. It is one of the various components you take into account ". He, however, refused to elaborate on the issue saying, "The New Zealand cricket Board is the best to comment on the matter".

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