14 Jun 2015

Black Caps' bowlers told to step-up

7:43 pm on 14 June 2015

The New Zealand batting coach Craig McMillan says the Black Caps' bowlers need to step up and match their batting counterparts in the one-day series against England.

Trent Boult in action at the Oval, 2015.

Trent Boult in action at the Oval, 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

England set the tone of the series in the first match at Edgbaston, bludgeoning the Black Caps for 408.

Trent Boult got off lightly taking four wickets for 55 runs while Mitchell McClenaghan was carted for 93 from his ten overs taking two wickets.

The New Zealand batsmen failed to fire in that match with the side losing by 210 runs, but in the next game at the Oval, New Zealand posted 398 after batting first.

"I thought that was a very professional batting effort. To have partnerships all the way through set the platform for that very big total," said McMillan.

"Brendon McCullum (39) and Martin Guptill (50) really set the tone with the way they got things underway and then the partnership between Kane Williamson (93) and Ross Taylor (119) really set the platform.

"It allowed guys like Grant Elliott (32) and Luke Ronchi (33) to come in and play their cameos, so in many ways it was close to the perfect batting performance."

Undaunted by the target, England chased with vigour, plundering 86 runs from the off spinner Nathan McCullum and 73 from the debutante left arm orthodox spin bowler Mitchell Santner.

McCullum took three wickets and Santner two, while the veteran pace bowler Tim Southee went wicketless as he was smashed for 68 runs.

Ross Taylor at the Oval, 2015.

Ross Taylor at the Oval, 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The rain intervened and New Zealand won the match by 13 runs under the Duckworth Lewis method, although it appeared the English batsmen could have overhauled the Black Caps' total had the weather stayed away.

McMillan said both wickets at Edgbaston and the Oval were great for batting, hence the New Zealand bowlers will be hoping for some assistance from the conditions in the third match at Southampton.

"Its been a difficult series for the bowlers so far," he laughed.

"I think the bowlers are perhaps looking forward to a pitch with a little bit more help at some stage."

With the smaller and harder Dukes cricket ball used in the Test series now supplanted by a white Kookaburra for the one-day series, the amount of swing the bowlers can achieve, even in the amenable English conditions, seems to have diminished.

While admitting bowling is not his forte, McMillan suggested the bowlers need a greater variation of deliveries.

Black Caps coaches Craig McMillan and Mike Hesson.

Black Caps coaches Craig McMillan and Mike Hesson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"One of the challenges for them at the moment is that when the ball doesn't do anything, what's you game plan?

"You have to be able to adjust and certainly be very flexible with the way England are coming hard."

The third one-day international between New Zealand and Englands is due to begin in

Southampton on Sunday at 10.30pm (NZT).