'Veteran' Vettori's experience 'still an influence' on Black Caps, says Hesson

Wellington, June 8 (ANI): New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has said that veteran player Daniel Vettori can still make an impact in the ICC Champions Trophy, even if it is as a technical adviser rather than spin bowler.

The 272-game veteran would provide a huge boost to New Zealand's chances but time is running out for him to be passed fit, as he missed the three-match ODI series against England with an ongoing Achilles tendon injury which restricts his running while batting and fielding, Stuff.co.nz reports.

The report also said that it is highly unlikely that Vettori will be thrown into New Zealand's tournament opener against Sri Lanka on Sunday night.

However, Hesson has not given up hope, though, and described Vettori's progress as promising, adding that they have given him a few days to settle down.

Although Hesson admitted that they are taking a risk in terms of the lack of match play, he said that Vettori is crucial to the squad as he has got much experience and is also in a decent shape, adding that he has a calming influence, is not imposing and is influential in terms of his experience and knowledge of playing in England.

Hailing his team's fitness as one of the reasons for their recent form, which saw them win the England ODI series with a game to spare, Hesson has given his charges a resounding pass mark by the key performance indicators.

Given off-spinner Nathan McCullum's recent performances, particularly at Lord's, there is less urgency to rush Vettori back for his first ODI since the 2011 World Cup.

Even if Vettori's chances appear bleak, his presence in the dressing room means New Zealand will hold off as long as possible before ruling the former skipper out, the report added. (ANI)


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