NZ cricket coach challenges bowlers

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has challenged his bowlers to up their game after the World Cup finalists’ colossal 210-run defeat by England in the first one-day international at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

It was England’s biggest victory, in terms of runs, in all one-day internationals, beating their 202-run margin against India during the inaugural 1975 World Cup – when India batting great Sunil Gavaskar bizarrely blocked his way to 36 not out off 174 balls at Lord’s.

Superb centuries by Joe Root (104) and Jos Buttler (129) helped England to 9-408, the first time they had made 400 in an ODI.

Their total also owed much to a partnership of 177 between Buttler and Adil Rashid (69) – a new ODI world record for the seventh wicket.

With the exception of left-arm paceman Trent Boult, who took 4-55 in his maximum 10 overs, the rest of New Zealand’s attack suffered heavy punishment on Tuesday.

Fast bowler Matt Henry’s 10 wicketless overs went for 73 runs, while Mitchell McClenaghan’s two wickets cost 93 runs.

Hesson, ahead of the second in a five-match series at The Oval on Friday, was clear on where New Zealand needed to improve.

“We’ve got two things to work on: our decision-making, trying to block off parts of the park where we could look to defend and there were too many balls down ‘main street’ where you can hit both sides of the wicket,” he told reporters at New Zealand’s hotel in Birmingham on Wednesday.

“Fail to execute well and you go the distance. We need to look at our decision-making under pressure.”

England’s performance was in stunning contrast to their lacklustre World Cup, where a first-round exit included an eight-wicket thrashing by New Zealand in Wellington in February

However, the Black Caps were without Tim Southee – who took a national record 7-33 in Wellington – on Tuesday after he was rested following the 1-1 drawn Test series between England and New Zealand.

Hesson, asked if Southee would return at The Oval, said: “He’s close, he’ll definitely be considered. We’ll just have a look and see how he scrubs up in training tomorrow (Thursday).”

He refused to blame his batsmen for the scale of the defeat – the Black Caps’ second heaviest in terms of runs following a 215-run loss to Australia at the 2007 World Cup in Grenada.

“There’s no point finishing on 250 for seven, you’ve got to have a crack,” he said.

Of the 14 scores of 400 or more in ODI cricket, six have been posted within the last year.

But Hesson denied one-day cricket was becoming too much of a batsmen’s game.

“I like the way it’s going because there are high scores and also a lot of low scores,” he explained.

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