The Black Caps have equaled their 12-match home winning streak of last summer, something that has the stock value of leader Mike Hesson at all-time highs.
It seems as though Hesson’s success has something to do with his selection process, which is a system that induces envy in some of his international coaching rivals.
Hesson has been in charge for six years, nearly, and is locked to the Black Caps until the end of the 2019 World Cup, so to an objective observer, it would appear that having some security and continuity in the coaching ranks is valuable, if increasingly rare, when the axe is always ready, just inside the door, waiting for the necks of coaches who do not produce immediate gratification to those who hand out positions of power.
It could be argued that allowing Hesson to make his own selections is key to his success, compared to the four-selectorsystem used by Australia and India. If NewZealand is to be taken at face value, it may not be long until other international coaches start picking their XIs, eliminating all the politics and favourtism that has led to some questionable picks, without naming any names.
New Zealand Cricket made the shift from “independent” panel to the coach and one selector program in 2011, just ahead of Hesson coming along to head the Black Caps.
The idea was that of John Buchanan, a former coach of a country to the immediate west of New Zealand. He served as NZC’s director of cricket, where he gave the coach, in this case Hesson, the right to veto a pick of the selector, although Hesson says he has yet to use that power.
“The coach is always under the gun for the performance of the team. If you don’t have the team anywhere near what you think it should be, in terms of trying to apply a gameplan, it makes it very difficult,” said Hesson, perched on a chair in the Basin Reserve’s Long Room.
Gavin Larsen is currently serving as selector for the Kiwis, but NZC also has 10 who serve as spotters. The six major association coaches also provide input, but ultimately, Hesson make the final decision and so long as he keeps producing favourable results, he will continue in his role, assuming that he chooses to do so beyond the 2019 World Cup.