White Ferns coach seeks home cup mindset shift
Bob Carter tells Ian Anderson his side needs to be smarter and snatch their opportunities to close the gap on Australia and England after a disappointing season.
WHITE Ferns coach Bob Carter knew it was going to be a tough year.
His side had 18 games lined up against the top two teams in women’s cricket. They won three, with one game abandoned.
There was just one ODI win in nine games, which continued to put the New Zealand side under the microscope ahead of next year’s World Cup at home.
But Carter, in a lengthy interview with Sunday News, outlined what he and his charges discovered.
‘‘We were generally inconsistent – some days we were good, some days not so good,’’ he said. ‘‘When you play against teams like Australia and England, they are going to be tough learnings. But I also think things are a bit closer than what everyone thinks.
‘‘There is a bigger picture with the World Cup. Have we seen signs of improvement? I think there are some small signs. Would I like them to be bigger? I’d them to be bigger because I’d like us to win.
‘‘We gave ourselves a small window at times of winning, which is not enough. We have to be realistic about the teams we’re playing against, but the players we bring in – have they moved forward is the question I’ve already started to review.
‘‘We’re on a pretty fast track with our learning and that happens when you play Australia/ England/Australia. It’s brutal, but if you start to feel sorry for yourself then you’re gone.’’
Carter praised the input of his assistants, former Black Caps Jacob Oram and Rob Nicol.
‘‘I can’t talk highly enough about the coaches around me. Obviously they’re the good cops when I’m the bad cop – not that I shout too much — but every now and then we have to have words about how you need to do that better.’’
The coaching staff will be conducting reviews over the next fortnight. Fitness will be on the list of improvements for the players in the off-season break and then at camps at Lincoln and Bay Oval ahead of a tour of England in September, comprising three T20s and five ODIs.
‘‘We talk a lot about the mindset shift needed – can we compete against Australia, can we compete against England? And of course we can.’’
Here’s insights from Carter on results, players and lessons received.
SERIES BY SERIES: The six games against Australia that started the season in Brisbane in September:
‘‘I was very disappointed we didn’t win the first game we played [a T20 encounter the hosts won by 17 runs]. I thought we’d given ourselves a great chance to win that game by limiting Australia to 130-odd, but unfortunately we couldn’t nail that position.
‘‘I felt we could have won a series there.
‘‘And that was the thing for me – we created a lot of those opportunities throughout, but then couldn’t take that step further. I saw that all the way through the season.’’
‘‘The ODI series allowed us to look at a lot of things we needed to heading towards the World Cup and that was important for the group, and having that time to do so.’’
The six games at home against England:
‘‘We were certainly looking to produce some results in the ODIs.
‘‘I felt we didn’t bat well enough after being in a good position in Christchurch, we needed somebody to nail a big score, then in Dunedin we were rescued by Brooke Halliday.
‘‘In the third game, there was the real emergence of Amelia Kerr as a batter – she’d been sort threatening without haven’t really done anything, or she’d done it in the lower order, like when she won us the T20 game against Australia.
‘‘We bowled a team out in the third game, which is something we need to do more of and haven’t nailed yet.
‘‘Jess Kerr opening the bowling with her prodigious swing, her and Rosemary Mair bowling up front has been a bonus for us. We need to take more wickets up front but with Lea [Tahuhu] not being around, I thought they stood up well.
‘‘Then we didn’t do ourselves justice with the bat in the first two games of the T20s. We never really gave ourselves a chance because we batted poorly throughout the series, and had about eight dropped catches in the final game.’’
The home series against Australia:
‘‘We could have won [the opening T20] in Hamilton, but didn’t quite do enough to get over the line, although our fielding stepped up.
‘‘Napier was an important
’ win for us – a great bowling performance, coupled with the fielding effort, and the Meg Lanning run-out by Jess Kerr was a big turning point for us.
‘‘Frankie Mackay injuring her calf almost re-focused her, she didn’t give it away. She’s shown how tough a cricketer she is, and that innings showed her how she could score that quickly and she didn’t just have to survive.’’
Carter said he hasn’t seen a dressing room so quiet when it’s rained as he did from his troops
‘When you play against teams like Australia and England, they are going to be tough learnings. But I also think things are a bit closer than what everyone thinks. WHITE FERNS COACH BOB CARTER
when the T20 decider at Eden Park was abandoned in the wet.
‘‘And I thought that showed a lot about the girls, they so wanted to play the game. Jess Kerr was asking me ‘when are we going to warm up?’ and it’s pouring with rain. Not to be able to play that was a big blow to us; it would have tested us against the world champions and given us confidence if we produced a result.’’
Carter said his side missed opportunities to get on top in the last two ODIs.
‘‘In the last game, I thought our bowling was excellent to keep them to 150 – at one stage, they looked like getting 30 or 40 more. We fielded well, we attacked the ball better, we caught a couple of good ones, Leigh Kasperek again stood up. I felt we’d given ourselves a real opportunity to do it.
‘‘But 36-1 off 10 [batting in reply], we’ve got to be better than that, we’ve got to score quicker – we had to make full use of the five-over power play, and we just couldn’t do it. Credit to
Australia, they bowled well, but we need to find a way.
‘‘Great that we scored 52 off five overs at the death, but we still finished 21 short. We talked in the dressing room afterwards – ‘could we have found 21 runs in the first 15 overs’ and we said ‘of course we could’.
‘‘That in a nutshell was our learning – it was a bitter thing to take.’’
Carter said the White Ferns are learning more and more about the game.
‘‘We can say things in the group without anyone feeling like they’re being picked on – this is what we need to learn, and everybody takes that on board.’’
The coach sat down with his side after their four-wicket defeat in the second ODI in Brisbane and had them look at a screenshot of Kerr’s hat-trick ball to Australian rookie Annabel Sutherland with the hosts 196-5 chasing 253 to win.
‘‘I asked what’s wrong with this photo. Where was the shortleg, where was the silly point, where was the leg-slip? If we’d got that hat-trick they’d have been six down – and I think she played that ball to leg slip, and they got a single.’’
Carter said the White Ferns have to get stronger at grabbing their chances to swing games in their favour, pointing out the penultimate ODI against Australia in Mount Maunganui as also producing a key moment.
‘‘We really had an opportunity. We created it when Leigh Kasperek got her fourth wicket . . . we talk a lot in our group around cricket awareness and being cricket smart.
‘‘That was our opportunity to keep on bowling Leigh, and then we might have bowled Australia out. [Captain] Amy [Satterthwaite] had to make a tough decision . . .
‘‘We knew those moments were there. But our opposition, who had been there before, also realised that and they didn’t back down. You’ve just got to be mentally strong — it’s an area we are focusing on for sure.’’