On tour with Mike - A real opportunity

On tour with Mike - A real opportunity

Looking back to the Test series, I thought we played well in Dhaka. We obviously batted well and put Bangladesh under pressure - on day four we threw everything at them with the ball, and I felt if we'd had one good hour we'd have won the game. It was extremely frustrating to lose that last day's play.

Overall, I was pleased with the guys in the Test squad - it's a tough place to come, all Tests tend go to five days here, they're hard fought contests. The batsmen prepared exceptionally well and I thought we made big strides with the bat, scoring over 400 in both first innings, something we haven't been able to do in the past in the subcontinent.

From a bowling perspective, Neil Wagner kept running in in the second Test, was aggressive and kept asking good questions... in the last twelve months he's sort of been the guy who's done the hard work and the other guys have picked up the wickets, so it was nice to see him get the rewards. For him to pick up his first five-wicket bag in Test cricket was a big step for him.

The way Ish Sodhi stepped up from the first Test to the second was pleasing, he bowled exceptionally well in the first innings, it would have been nice to see him bowling on a wearing wicket on day five. Trent, Doug and Neil are on their second sub continent tour, they learned a lot and certainly showed improvements from their first time here - for Corey Anderson and the two spinners on their first tours, it was an exceptional effort first up adapting to foreign conditions.

The transition period from Tests to ODIs is always difficult, especially with guys coming from our winter and the off season. This was a little different as we had some guys training and acclimatising in Mumbai.

Obviously I'm very disappointed to lose the ODI series, I think having Kane Williamson, our best player of spin, not able to bat in either game was significant. But, we're finding out a lot about players while we're here. Jimmy Neeham and Corey Anderson have stood up straight away and grabbed their opportunities by the scruff of the neck and have shown they're quality all-rounders, so that's exciting.

As a batting group, we've been exposed against some really good spin bowling in the middle periods of the innings. If you look at our top seven batsmen, there are some guys who don't have a lot of ODI experience under their belts, so we're keen to find out who are the quick learners.

To give you an idea of what I'm doing during the matches, obviously we live and die by the outcome at the end, but I can't be a guy who rides waves of emotions and goes up and down with the match. I'm really clear in terms of where we're heading, and in terms of what we're looking for from our players and what we need to see. When that doesn't happen, you get frustrated, but you're probably more frustrated because you know that the players are better than that, and they've shown that at other levels, and they need to learn to cope under the pressure of international cricket and show everyone what they are capable of.

That's one of the real opportunites we have in this tour - obviously we have players to come back into the side such as Martin Guptill and Kane, but we have the chance right now to find out more about our depth, and who can make the step up.  If we can combine gaining playing depth on this tour with a few wins along the way we will be well placed heading into the home summer.

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