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The ghosts of Bangladesh will haunt New Zealand

The ghosts of Bangladesh continue to haunt New Zealand, after being lampooned by the media and public back home. Atreyo Mukhopadhyay reports.

cricket Updated: Nov 02, 2010 03:05 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

At a time when they are desperate to look ahead, the New Zealanders are constantly being asked to look back.

On Monday, when the Indians were having nets under the afternoon sun, the visitors were in the decidedly cooler confines of the team hotel facing hot questions.

Aspersions were cast on how Daniel Vettori's beleaguered team is going to measure up to the might of the world's top Test side, but the most common question asked to the players in an open media session was how could they be blanked 4-0 in the recent ODI series by the world's lowest ranked team.

The ghosts of Bangladesh continue to haunt New Zealand, after being lampooned by the media and public back home. Groping for positives before facing a full-strength Indian team, acceptance of the fact that they were hopelessly outplayed in Bangladesh was all that they could muster on that front.

"It's the toughest challenge, to face the top team in their own conditions," said Vettori. "The talent and success they have is awesome, while we are at the opposite end of the spectrum".

"A lot of soul searching has been done after Bangladesh and we have understood that we kept digging holes for ourselves. But there is a difference between understanding a problem and sorting things out."

The only player in this New Zealand team with the experience of playing Test cricket in India said he was not hurt by the reaction back home.

"We have to take it on the chin. It was hard but we were expecting the criticism. We have tried to identify our problems and hope that the setback works as a catalyst to better things."

Coach Mark Greatbatch was equally honest in interpreting the malady.

"It was pretty tough, losing to Bangladesh. Our self-discipline, focus was well under-par. The media and public have been quite hostile, but you expect that after playing the way we did," said the former batsman, who redefined the role of ODI openers in the 1992 World Cup.

Greatbatch himself had been quite hostile to his team after the Bangladesh debacle, being quoted in the media as saying: "We played like d**ks really."