New Zealand cricket captain Daniel Vettori gave his seal of approval to new coach Andy Moles and said John Bracewell was in “a good space” to move on.
While Bracewell, the coach for five years, declined to comment when the team arrived in Adelaide, Vettori was upbeat about being reunited with Moles, his Northern Districts coach, for the first test against West Indies on December 11.
“I’m pretty excited by it. I’ve worked with Andy for a period of time at ND and captained the side when he was coach and we had a pretty good working relationship,” Vettori said.
“He’ll be a little bit unknown to a few of the guys within the group and probably to a few people within New Zealand, but what he’s done so far with ND has been really pleasing.”
An appointment process which dragged on for months suddenly went into overdrive on Sunday when New Zealand Cricket’s preferred candidate, Matthew Mott, withdrew from the race to re-sign a two-year deal with New South Wales.
Moles was next in line following the withdrawals of South African pair Graham Ford and Mickey Arthur.
Vettori hoped Moles wouldn’t be seen as second-best, and heard he’d interviewed “exceptionally well”.
“He wasn’t as big a name as the other candidates and that’s why people assume he was down the list.
“But after I heard how well he’d interviewed, he was always in the reckoning, from my understanding.”
Bracewell’s contract ran until April, but after he’d signed with county team Gloucestershire during the winter tour of England, said he would remain with the Black Caps for “as long as NZC wanted me”.
NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said today Bracewell would depart after Friday’s second test against Australia, by mutual agreement.
Vettori maintained he didn’t have a say in the appointment, but was kept in the loop about discussions between NZC and Bracewell so today’s announcement wasn’t a shock.
“I will (miss Bracewell). For myself, since he’s become coach it’s probably been my most successful period as an individual player. I’ll miss the drive he’s given me over the years.
“But like most people, five years is a long time coaching one side so Braces is ready for a new challenge and I hope the team is, as well.
“I think he’s all right because he’s got a job to go to at Gloucester and NZC were in ongoing discussions about this process, so he’s in a pretty good space.”
Vettori said batting was clearly Moles’ strength, which was timely after the young New Zealand batting lineup totalled 156 and 177 in the 149-run defeat to Australia in the first test.
The 47-year-old Englishman compiled 15,305 first-class runs at an average of 40.70, including 29 centuries, as a dour opener for Warwickshire and South African side Griqualand West.
“In the short period of time I’ve worked with him, some of the stuff that we did I’ve tried to take forward into my batting in international cricket,” Vettori said.
“Jamie How and Ross Taylor worked with him briefly during the NZA game against England and they were pretty pleased with the concepts he came up with. There’s a group of batsmen pretty excited about him coming on board.”
Vettori was unconcerned about the quick turnaround between coaches, saying it was a fact of life for international players and coaches.
“It’s going to be a challenging time but I know from the time I’ve worked with him that he (Moles) is definitely up to it.”
The players had their first training at the Adelaide Oval late today as Bracewell and Vettori set about selecting their side for Friday.