Sunday, 23 March 2008

A test without much balance left

Today was just awful. I can't quite figure out whether to be angry or just depressed.

I don't blame the batsmen too much. It is not their fault that there are so few New Zealand cricketers who can score runs. But it is clear that at least two changes will need to be made before the tour to England; Justin Vaughan and John Bracewell need to go. With them out of the way maybe then we can strenghten our batting with some of the following:

1) Lou Vincent
2) Hamish Marshall
3) Craig McMillan
4) Chris Cairns
5) Nathan Astle
6) Scott Styris
7) Stephen Fleming

Fleming you might ask. Surely he is retiring? Well, signing a three year contract to play in India says to me that he thinks he can play for another three years - just not for the current management.

At the start of today I figured this post would be all about the promise of Tim Southee. Sorry Tim, I'm just not in the mood for it.


Jrod said...

I agree that Tim Southee is great.

Suave said...

Tim Southee could be as big as his front teeth, if he wants to be..

What on earth happened?

We were getting smacked like naughty children, and I fell asleep and we were 176 runs in front.

I R confused.

Ben said...

Mike, how can it not be the batsmen's fault that NZ batsmen can't score runs? And when you're bowled shouldering your arms to a ball pitching in line, for example, you have to take some responsibility for your failure.

Karl said...

What on earth is happening in the NZ team environment? Mathew Sinclair and Mathew Bell go from scoring a ton of runs in first class crickets to looking like idiots after a couple of games at test level. Surely something is being coached out of them.

The reality is that they will go because who else is there? It won't be long until we're back in the top 3 of test playing nations, with the way some are happily accepting that their players should play IPL rather than tests (Pakistan, WIndies).

Ad Pie Chucker said...

What is going on? Assuming England win (& a batting collapse is hardly out of the question) - will NZ come back and return the favour in England? After all, you thumped us in the 1st Test.

Suhas said...

I don't know about the rest of your list, but Scott Styris should definitely be persuaded to return to test cricket. His departure has left the middle order clueless. Also, it was tough luck losing Jacob Oram for the decider, Grant Elliott looks likely to stay a one-match wonder.

Just how could NZ contrive to mess up a winning position like that? The batters were somehow incapable of putting a price on their wicket and seemed, yes, scared of Ryan Sidebottom (who is a good bowler but not quite in the Jeff Thompson speed category). Jamie How showed what could be done if you hung around, remember he scored just 1 off his first 30 odd deliveries. He's been a real find but throws his wicket away with a poor shot too often.

Sinclair's case reminds me of Graeme Hick's last couple of seasons in test cricket - a talented batsman messed about so much by the selectors that he simply doesn't know what he's doing out there in the middle any more. Anyone playing such a shot in the given circumstances would appear to have shot himself mentally. As for Matthew Bell, apparently no work is being done on his technique and this is where your point about sacking John Bracewell comes in.

Which is all a real pity since the bowlers have once again done their level best in the absence of Shane Bond, only for the batters to mess it up. Good on Tim Southee for confirming he'ready for international cricket, at least one good thing has come out of the test. I can only hope he stays injury free.

The Atheist said...

No batsmen at first class level should be as poor as the Kiwian display yesterday.

I agree with you about Stephen Fleming, but the captaincy was a bit too much for him to bear...

sportsfreak said...


Not sure what you've been told in UK but Flem wanted to carry on captaining this side. But an Ego War with Braces saw him dropped, angry, disinterested etc.. and he's walked.

Leaving one massive hole in the NZ middle order.

The Atheist said...

That what I meant, Freak of Sport, the whole captaincy thing was unfortunate for the whole cricketing world, really.

Fleming has years in him, yet.

Marie said...

Sitting here at 10:15pm UK time, with New Zealand about to start chasing 553, all I can wonder as a New Zealander with ridiculously expensive tickets to Lords in a month or so, is should I just sell them now...