Cricinfo compares Mark Gillespie to Bob Willis and Dennis Lillee. Others seem to have set their optimism meter a little lower because I have heard two different people (one of them Ben) compare Gillespie to Danny Morrison lately.
Geez. Cricinfo really need to update their picture of DK. He has way too much in the way of flowing locks in that shot.
Sorry. I got distracted there for a second.
Anyway. Back to Danny and Mark. The comparison seems a pretty good one to me. Both are shortish, have long run-ups and big bums. They also both tend to mix hittable rubbish with the occasional brilliant ball. Morrison's best length was full, where he could get the ball to swing late. Gillespie's seems best at the same length. Sadly for us, both of them seem to believe that their best length is short. If some batsmen are addicted to the hook shot, then Morrison and Gillespie were/are hooked on the bouncer.
Gillespie's test figures so far read 5-136, 4-79 and 2-63. The wickets columns are good (great even), but the run columns are not so hot. Especially as those figures have come from spells of 30, 20 and 15 overs. That means he is going for an average of 4.27 runs per over. Crazy high for test cricket.
If Gillespie continues to play for New Zealand then my bet is that this trend will continue, no matter what the conditions. He will take "some wickets-plenty of runs" on a wickedly green seamer where Michael Mason might have taken "lots-none". And he will take "some wickets-plenty of runs" on a good batting track where Mason will almost certainly go for "none-depressingly huge".
Where does that leave us and the selectors? Well, in the long-term we can either hope that Gillespie learns quicker than Danny Morrison ever did - or we can hope that he is kept for games where we know conditions are going to suit the batsmen. And in the short-term, we can expect Gillespie to get over excited at the fast-paced Napier wicket and to witness plenty of runs coming from behind square on the leg-side when England bats.