Tuesday, 17 October 2006

A tale of two captains

New Zealand vs South Africa matches in recent times have been dominated by the captains of the respective sides. The games have become less about nation vs nation, and more about Stephen Fleming vs Graeme Smith. Last night was perhaps the most extreme example of this. Stephen Fleming scored 89 out of 195 for New Zealand and Graeme Smith managed 42 out of South Africa's 108.

In truth it wasn't the best of games. Right from the start you could see the pitch was going to play a part. It looked to me like they took the worst of New Zealand's low, slow wickets and then baked it until it started to crumble.

Still, a victory is a victory and a convincing victory over a certain South African wanker is even better. The bowlers did their part very well - so much for rust - and even if Fleming's was the only score of substance, then at least the rest of the side hung around with him for a while.

On the downside the stupid experiment with Lou Vincent sent in as a top order thrasher continues. I can't see how this benefits the side (particularly on poor pitches) and I am convinced the role is doing terrible things to his game.

Anyway. There are better experts than me commenting on the game. So go here and read a real match report.


Karl said...

It doesn't really surprise me that Smith in the after-match ceremony thanked Sri Lanka for a good game!

Suhas said...

I think the NZ think tank is simply destined not to find a permanent batting position for Lou Vincent. I didn't see the game, but his slam-bang approach of late reminds me a bit of Craig Spearman from yesteryear (a rare talent gone to waste). I'm not really keen on Astle at number three either, when you consider he's enjoyed enough success as an opener but that doesn't look likely to change for the moment. The middle order seems a bit suspect to me though, in the absence of Styris and will find it really tough against Sri Lanka. If the kiwis were at home in these conditions, the Lankans will enjoy them even more.

On the positive side, great to see (rather,read about) Mills playing the role of a strike bowler to perfection. Not to forget the continued development of Jeetan Patel.