Thursday, 8 February 2007

The post-mortem continues

Richard Boock is in a fickle mood. After his apology to John Bracewell and his rotation policy the other day, the last thing I expected was a new column telling us that Fleming didn't lose us the match against England - "the unsettling selection policies" did. But that is exactly what Boocky has given us.

The players themselves seem to blame the mental side of their game for their recent failures. Oh, and the physical side as well. Which pretty much has everything but the spiritual aspect covered. And given that our outfield catching mostly seemed to involve players putting their hands together, closing their eyes and looking skyward - I would say that ain't working either.

While the players have most of their bases covered, former coach Denis Aberhart decided to go the whole hog and told the Press that we just need to improve three things to start winning again - the batting, bowling and fielding.

I get the sense we are not narrowing things down yet.

Still, if we can't find the root of the problems, at least we know what the positives are. And if we don't, Jonathan Millmow is there to remind us. Lou Vincent's batting, Jacob Oram's hitting, Ross Taylor's development and the continuing improvement of Mark Gillespie and Jeetan Patel.

Millmow is also a little better at pin-pointing problems. He questions Franklin's position as a new-ball bowler - particularly when the ball isn't swinging - Peter Fulton's place at number 3 and the change in fielding practice routines. He also comes through with ratings for all the New Zealand players.

Meanwhile, there is more bad news for New Zealand. First of all Kyle Mills needs surgery that will put him out of the game for a year. And secondly, Shane Warne has scheduled a "tribute match" for himself at the same time as the second Chappell-Hadlee match - an indication that the Australians might send a weakened side to these shores to allow the stars to participate. Hmmm, I guess that means we have a chance of winning. Perhaps that last one isn't really that bad then.

Its not just New Zealand cricket that has problems though. In bad news for the world game, it seems that Marlon Samuels has been caught talking to a bookie.

Luckily for us there are a couple of up notes to end on. Darrell Hair, who you may remembers is a pasty white Aussie, has decided to sue the ICC for racial discrimination. And Australia's number 1 ranking in ODIs is under threat from South Africa.


Anthony the Loser said...

Any advice?

Karl said...

Well, if you're looking for any indication from the South Africa vs Pakistan series of likely world cup contenders you're not going to get it.

In the first match South Africa score 392 and win by 164 runs. In the second match, Pakistan score 351 and win by 141 runs.

From the tri series I think we can take out that Australia are coasting (and potentially complacent), England are on the up (and will soon have back Pietersen, which will lift them) and New Zealand are drifting.

Suhas said...

Not sure if peter Fulton deserves all the brickbats he seems to be getting at the moment. His innings of 12 in the last game certainly didn't help the cause at all, but apart from that he looked pretty comfortable on his first visit to Australia and batted with reasonable authority, even if he failed to kick on after a start in most innings.