Black Caps Coach Gary Stead is philosophical about the decisions made on November 10, 2019 when the fifth Twenty20 international in Auckland was forced into a Super Over.
England enjoyed a thrilling Super Over win against New Zealand and 3-2 series victory in the rain-truncated 11-over match.
Chasing New Zealand’s total of 146-5, Chris Jordan smashed a six and a four to score 12 from the remaining three deliveries to take his team to 146-7 and force the Super Over.
World Cup memories
It evoked memories of the famous World Cup final between the sides in July when England won the Tournament by the narrowest of margins after the game went into a Super Over.
Jordan then defended the touring side’s Super Over score of 17, taking a wicket while giving away just eight runs.
Stead said in that situation a group of players get together and work out what they think are their best options for the Super Over. He said that the decision was made to have Tim Seifert face the first ball rather than Martin Guptill because Seifert was one of the few guys in the team who “scoops and laps very well.”
“We predicted that Chris Jordan would bowl the Super Over and generally he is very good at bowling Yorkers as well; so, we wanted someone who could potentially exploit that first ball of the over and hopefully put us on the front foot,” Stead said.
“Tim tried that, he only got two for it unfortunately but I guess they are the decisions you live and die by really.”
Never the same
When asked in hindsight if the best decisions were made about who to bowl in bat in the Super Over, Stead said it didn’t really matter.
“No one will ever know that because it was the one decision that was made. You could play Super Over after Super Over and you’d get a whole lot of different situations and they’re one off situations.
“For us and for Tim, it was a great experience for him to go out and do it as well and we’re excited about where he’s going with his game as well and I think if you look at the way he played in the 11 over game yesterday he certainly showed his skills there.”
On the decision for stand-in captain Tim Southee to bowl the last over, Stead said that three or four names were thrown about.
“In the end Tim [Southee] said ‘no I’m going to do it’ and stood up and did the job so again really fine margins. I mean he got hit for six twice in the over and the other ones went for ones and I thought were really good balls and if you get away with going for perhaps 10 it might have been a different situation.”
About Mitchell Santner
Stead said Trent Boult’s name was in the mix and Mitchell Santner was also discussed as an option at some length.
“I think Mitch is a really skilful bowler, I guess sometimes the short boundaries can scare people but in my view it doesn’t really matter whether you’re pace or spin bowler you want the person that can do the job and Tim stood up and did it yesterday and unfortunately it just wasn’t quite good enough.”
Stead said it highlighted that cricket was a sport that came down to very small margins.
“We play in pressure matches every game we play for New Zealand. It was another Super Over which is always exciting for the fans and from my perspective as a coach it’s also great to see our players under pressure when we lead into a World Cup in 12 months time.”
Not a trend
He said two Super Over matches in four months didn’t represent a trend.
“It depends how you look at, there’s only been two Super Overs we’ve been in so it’s certainly not a trend or anything like that but it’s something that we need to keep looking at and how we can be as good as we can be in those situations.”
Stead said he didn’t have any real issue with the rule where the team that has just batted is straight out again batting first in the Super Over.
“I think that’s just really to keep the game moving …we all know what it is and we’ve been in the situation where we are chasing runs both times and it hasn’t come off.
“You could argue it’s better to get runs on the board but then again if you only score five or six then it’s probably not going to be enough so it’s really just like playing another over of cricket and I guess if the mentality is that we play every over like it’s a Super Over then it shouldn’t really matter.”
The Test series starts on Friday, November 15, 2019.
Bridget Tunnicliffe is Digital and Sport Journalist at Radio New Zealand. The above Report and Picture have been published under a Special Arrangement with www.rnz.co.nz
Black Caps Coach Gary Stead Photo: Photosport