Blackcaps vs Sri Lanka: Craig McMillan stoked with his NZ batting squadron

Craig McMillan couldn't be happier with his batting squadron, after stellar test and ODI campaigns against Sri Lanka.

The Blackcaps batting coach has overseen some tremendous individual performances over the past month across both formats, with Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls all passing 100, and in one case (Latham) 200.

Those results have put a smile on the face of the former hard-hitting New Zealand batsman, who believes players are being rewarded for putting in a lot of work away from the cameras and big crowds.

"Well, the batting coach is very happy at the moment," McMillan told media on Wednesday.

"There are a lot of things you do behind the scenes - not only the batting, but the overall team behind closed doors that the general public doesn't see.

"They see the performance and the end results on the park.

"We continue to do that work - the guys are great at doing that extra work. The tactical side is just as important as the technical side and I think we are starting to see the benefits of all that hard work."

McMillan, who never had a specialist batting coach throughout a decade-long international career, said players must not only implement the advice they receive from coaching staff, but also feed off what's going on around them.

"Through my time, we didn't have a batting coach," he said. "We didn't have much support staff.

"It was a very different era where you would learn from the players around you and that's one of the things that we encourage. It's important to not only learn from your coaches and support staff, but also the players around you.

"Ross Taylor - a guy who has so much experience and scored 20 ODI hundreds - I couldn't think of a better opportunity for Henry Nicholls to learn than spending time in the middle with Ross.

"Those conversations go on all the time."

The Blackcaps' focus now switches to the shorter T20 format, at least for a few days, with a one-off clash against Sri Lanka at Eden Park on Friday, before a 10-day break while they await the arrival of India.

With head coach Gary Stead getting some time off, McMillan will take the reins in Auckland -  the first time the 42-year-old has been head coach of the national side.


Join us at 7pm Friday for live updates of the Blackcaps vs Sri Lanka T20 in Auckland.







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