Kiwis under pressure as ODIs begin

WELLINGTON - New Zealand aimed to put behind them the turmoil of the sudden departure of coach Andy Moles as they left yesterday for a series of one-day cricket internationals and Twenty20 matches against Pakistan.

WELLINGTON - New Zealand aimed to put behind them the turmoil of the sudden departure of coach Andy Moles as they left yesterday for a series of one-day cricket internationals and Twenty20 matches against Pakistan.

The series in the United Arab Emirates features three one-day internationals in Abu Dhabi from November 3, followed by two Twenty20 internationals on November 12 and 13 in Dubai.

Moles announced his resignation on Saturday after reports that the team had lost confidence in the 48-year-old coach because he was not providing the technical and tactical guidance they wanted.

Daniel Vettori, already loaded with responsibilities as New Zealand's captain, leading all-rounder and selector, now has the added burden of being acting coach. New Zealand Cricket is targeting the home series against Bangladesh in February for a new coach to start work.

Vettori's team is without a vice captain, after wicketkeeper and opening batsman Brendon McCullum was relieved of the job last week. The Kiwis are also suffering from a rash of injuries.

They lie fourth on the ICC's one-day rankings after their strong Champions Trophy performance, a place ahead of Pakistan.

The Kiwis have won their last five ODIs against Pakistan, the last being their five-wicket victory in the Champions Trophy semifinal in Johannesburg on October 3. Pakistan will travel to New Zealand next month for a three-Test series. - Sapa-AFP

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