Oram backing belief
Jacob Oram insists New Zealand's dramatic collapse in the second Test has only made them more determined.
Last Updated: 03/06/08 6:11pm
Jacob Oram insists New Zealand's dramatic collapse to lose the second Test against England has only made them more determined ahead of the third Test at Trent Bridge.
The Black Caps somehow managed to lose the game at Old Trafford despite holding an 179-run lead from the first innings.
Monty Panesar tore through the batting line-up and England knocked off the runs to win by six wickets and go 1-0 up in the three-game series.
Daniel Vettori's men now need to win the final game at Trent Bridge to square the series but all-rounder Oram says the defeat last time out has only given them more belief.
"In a strange way Manchester has just added to our confidence because we were so close, and we know we are so close, to this England team," said Oram.
"We were written off before the tour but if you take a couple of sessions out of that match, we were the dominant team.
"That is great to know but we have to finish it off with a bit more toughness, a bit more consistency.
"We just don't seem able to seal the deal and by that I mean we are not consistent enough with bat and ball.
"On a couple of occasions we've been right on top with the bat and lost a flurry of wickets and on the other side of the coin we've been bowling well - I think back to Wellington - and let them get away to a score."
Oram admits that the New Zealanders can sometimes struggle mentally with their batting, a point perfectly illustrated with their third innings capitulation at Old Trafford.
"It is always in the back of our minds, it's a mental thing not a technical thing because we showed in the first innings we are proficient enough to score runs," Oram added.
"Maybe we get a bit too far ahead of ourselves and start thinking about totals set or totals we're chasing when we should just be thinking about the next ball."
New Zealand could not practice outdoors in Nottingham due to the wet weather in the city, but that could help their chances of victory.
Oram says that a rain-affected match on a bowler-friendly wicket will give them more chance of victory, as he looks to improve his own wicket-taking capabilities.
"We've got some good seam bowlers and if the weather shortens the game up a bit with a bit of a green seamer, who knows it might bring the two sides even closer together," Oram said.
"My rhythm is good enough now to keep a low RPO (runs per over) but maybe I need to induce a few more wickets.
"It would be nice but my whole career I have not been a wicket-taker.
"If I had to give the game up I wouldn't be overly worried over the wickets I have taken or not taken but I suppose you're always looking for areas to improve and if I can swing the ball a bit more, get a bit more bounce it might help.
"You will not get any more pace out of me without snapping me in half!"