Vettori''s tenure as Test captain ends

Wellington, Jan 19 (PTI) Daniel Vettori''snone-too-impressive stint as New Zealand captain ended on asour note with his team losing the two-Test series againstPakistan 1-0.

Vettori today confirmed that he would be stepping downfrom the captaincy after the World Cup, making the second Testat the Basin Reverse here his last at the helm.

The New Zealander, since taking over from StEphen Flemingin November 2007, had often said that he would relinquish thecaptaincy after the 2011 World Cup, scheduled to be held inthe sub-continent from February 19-April 2.

"I made that decision three and a half years ago,"Vettori said.

"So that''s it. My timing was always to finish after theWorld Cup and that stays the same."

Vettori''s stint as skipper has been a disappointing onefor New Zealand, as the Test team saw a dip in form.

Under the left-arm spinner, New Zealand have won just sixTests, with four of them coming against Bangladesh, and oneeach against England and Pakistan, apart from 18 defeats and13 draws. In the 13 series that Vettori led, New Zealand loston nine occasions.

The 31-year-old, however, made it clear that he has givenhis best during his tenure.

"There are always regrets, you always want to performbetter. But I can walk away from the captaincy thinking that Igave it everything, particularly with my performance," Vettorisaid.

As captain, Vettori took 116 Test wickets at an averageof 33.38, and hit four centuries and nine fifties to aggregate1917 runs.

Vettori said the wins against England and Pakistan havebeen the high points for him as captain.

"The Test win against England and the Test win againstPakistan last year were highlights. Just seeing a group ofyoung guys come into the team. It''s a vastly different outfitfrom the one I started captaining and I think there are somereally talented players there," he said.

Despite stepping down from the captaincy, Vettori said hewould continue to play Test cricket and has no plans ofretirement as yet.

"Test cricket is the part of the game I love. I want toplay for as long as I can. There are still a lot of things Iwant to achieve, so there''s no way I''m stepping away from Testcricket."

He will lead the team in the upcoming one-day seriesagainst Pakistan and also in the World Cup. "We''ve got sixone-dayers and then the big World Cup, so there''s still alot of captaincy to come. So that last game - hopefully theWorld Cup final, that''s when the weight [of the captaincy]will be lifted," Vettori said.

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