New Zealand’s rise in stature as a one day side can be roughly traced back to the appointment of Mike Hesson as coach in July 2012 and Bruce Edgar as chief selector in 2013. One of Hesson’s initial moves was to make Brendon McCullum captain of New Zealand and, while he undoubtedly mishandled the dismissal of Ross Taylor at the time, this decision was the beginning of the country becoming a white ball force. In the next few years New Zealand would find themselves winning series’ in South Africa, England and the UAE against Pakistan, as well as going six series unbeaten at home including two wins against Australia. But the most incredible achievement was reaching the World Cup final in 2015.
Fast forward to December 2016 and, with Edgar and McCullum gone, New Zealand find themselves on the receiving end of two poor displays in India and Australia. Hesson, Gavin Larsen (who replaced Edgar following his decision to stand down following the World Cup) and newly appointed captain Kane Williamson are already finding themselves under pressure. On the face of it the criticism does feel faintly ridiculous, it was only February this year that New Zealand beat Australia in a three-match series at home. But that was MuCullum’s farewell and miserable performances since, which have seen the side collapse from 63-3 to 79 all out in Vizag and be comfortably whitewashed by Australia, does create an understandable feeling of concern surrounding the team’s direction. There is much work to be done on the New Zealand one day team looking ahead to the Champions Trophy next year. However, how far can these results be purely put down to Williamson, Hesson and Larsen? The amount of change over the last 12 months meant this situation was largely inevitable. Larsen has not been given the chance to select a stable side and Williamson has had the unenviable task of captaining a team in Australia with only one batsman, apart from himself, that he could rely on in Martin Guptill.