McMillan Focused 'is Now' In His Last Trial NZ Batting Coach > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - McMillan focused 'in the now' in his last Test as NZ batting coach

Under the guidance of Craig McMillan, New Zealand rose to as high as number two in the ICC Test rankings

The third Test against Bangladesh in Christchurch will be Craig McMillan's last Test as New Zealand's batting coach, a position he's been holding since May 2014. McMillan will relinquish his position at the end of the World Cup this year.

"I haven't really reflected at this point," McMillan said on Thursday (March 14) when asked about his thoughts on his last red-ball match with New Zealand. "Kind of in the now at the moment preparing for a Test match so it's something I'll have a think about as the Test winds down.

"I'll miss that day-to-day banter with the boys and seeing their development and success over the last few years has been awesome. People don't really get to see all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes to get guys to a point where they can perform at the international stage."

McMillan, who's overseen New Zealand's rise to their current number two ranking in Tests, said he'll will miss watching players develop into world-class performers. "As a coach, you see that development from the time they came into the setup to where they are now in terms of world cricket and as a coach, that's really satisfying. I am very proud at where the guys are at. As a team, to reach number two in the Test rankings is huge. Just look at some of the calibre of teams below us and you realise just how good that achievement is."

One of the players that excites McMillan is Will Young, who had toured the UAE with New Zealand but remained on the periphery. He might have his chance in Christchurch, with Kane Williamson doubtful after a minor grade-one pectoral tear.

"Will Young is quietly hovering in the background. I'm sure he hopes the skipper will play but it' be a pretty exciting time for him if Kane doesn't pull through," McMillan said. "He will go through his work and if he gets the call it's an opportunity for a guy who has been around our setup for a while now to show what he can do."

It's unusual for New Zealand to be playing Test cricket when most other teams are preparing for the World Cup, but McMillan said that they were always aware of the schedule, and take confidence from a tough series against India that helped them fine-tune their preparations.

"We have known this schedule for some time," he said. "We have played a ton of ODI cricket over the summer just not at the end of the summer. We have learnt a lot about our side over the summer - India showed as a couple of areas where we need to get better but I think this is the most open World Cup in history.

"There are six or seven teams with a real chance of winning. You have Afghanistan making serious strides with a couple of very talented young players - they will be a tricky opponent for any side. It's going to be an open and exciting tournament because so many sides are capable of winning it."

McMillan had high words of praise for Australia, who recovered from a 2-0 deficit to register a rare ODI series win in India.

"To come back and win three games in a row and win that series says a lot about their side and they still have one or two useful players who will come back into the side. You know with Australian at world tournaments they are always going to be there or thereabouts so don't be surprised if they are there come the business end," McMillan said.

Live Home Series
Player Schedule
Points Table Cricket Rankings
Cricket Clothing Cricket Equipment
Cricinfo Apps Download