9 Jan 2013

Martin says off-field distractions hit home ahead of first test

11:44 am on 9 January 2013

The veteran New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin says off-field distractions have taken their toll on the cricket tour of South Africa.

After a crushing first-test loss the Black Caps are preparing for the second and final test starting this Friday in Port Elizabeth.

Martin says the unavailability of top players for the tour coupled with injury unsettled the team before the first test.

He says the reality of the make up of the team, without some key members, hit home in the changing sheds ahead of the first morning and there was a level of anxiety a couple of hours out from the test start.

But Martin says after the horror start the side regrouped and while the fightback wasn't as good as the team would have liked, the display of resilence was encouraging.