Dimitri Mascarenhas wants New Zealand bowlers to raise their game
New Zealand's bowling coach Dimitri Mascarenhas has asked his team's bowlers to improve their performances during the ongoing tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
While he urged for more from his bowlers, Mascarenhas also stated that the bowling unit, which is short on experience, had adjusted well after a poor start that saw them being unable to defend a total of 303 in the first One-Day International in Harare.
Despite the setback in the first ODI, New Zealand bounced back strongly in the next two matches to claim the series.
“We knew it was going to be tough coming here - Zimbabwe in their home conditions are really tough to play against and they showed that in the first one," Mascarenhas said.
"We didn't get our plans right, we didn't bowl well enough, but I think the lads learnt a really good lesson from the first one and they put that right in the next two.”
Used to bowling on quicker pitches that have bounce and movement, the tracks in Harare tested the inexperienced New Zealand pacers.
After a bumpy start to the series, New Zealand’s bowlers were able to size up the conditions better, which according to Mascarenhas reflected on their performances too.
"The wickets are slow, they turn - the seamers just hold on the wicket a little bit.
“So we've got to adjust accordingly to these wickets.
“But once we did do that, we showed we can be a real force over here."
Mascarenhas was all praise for left-arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi – two key performers with the ball for the visitors in the series.
Sodhi, who has played 11 Tests since 2013, debuted in the first ODI and since then has gone from strength to strength according to Mascarenhas.
“Ish is coming along really nicely - he's learning along the way
"Obviously he was pretty nervous in his first one-dayer.
“He didn't bowl great, he knew that - and he went into the nets, worked hard and put his and our plans into place for the next two and showed that he's really capable of performing well at this level."
McClenaghan was the star for New Zealand in the series decider and the bowling coach feels that the pacer’s aggressive attitude has paid dividends for him.
“Mitch again didn't play that well in the first one but put that right in the next two," Mascarenhas said.
"He's at his best when he's running in as fast as he can, getting in the batsman's face."
After having nailed the ODI series, Mascarenhas wants New Zealand to finish the tour on a high by sealing the one-off Twenty20 International.
"We lost our last Twenty20 in England so we'll be looking to really put in a good performance ... and come home with the win."
New Zealand’s next international assignment will be the tour of South Africa which features three ODIs and two T20Is.
Dwelling on the expected conditions in South Africa, Mascarenhas hopes that his team can adjust to the pitches quickly – a factor that he feels will be vital for New Zealand’s success in the series.
“I'm guessing the wickets are going to be a bit quicker, more bounce, so again we're going to have to adjust our line and length accordingly," Mascarenhas said.
"It's going to be a real tough series against South Africa - if we're not going to be 100 per cent on, we're not going to win."
New Zealand and South Africa previously met in the World Cup semi-final this year which New Zealand won in an absorbing last-ball finish.
© Cricket World 2015