New Zealand cricket hadn’t being going so well while Ross Taylor was still captain.
Even if Taylor was still captaining the test team this series against South Africa would have still been the eighth rated test team with a record of very patchy performance up against the world’s number one team.
NZ darts players do their best at playing darts. NZers say well done.
NZ hockey players do their best at playing hockey. NZers say well done.
NZ tennis players do their best at playing tennis. NZers say well done.
NZ cricket players do do their best at playing cricket. NZers say hang them up by their scrota.
When winning the toss and facing the world’s best bowler Steyn – and Morkel and that other guy Philander, who got 21 wickets against us in 3 tests when they toured here last … don’t lead with your chin by batting first at Newlands – Oz were bowled out for 47 there last year.
It’s the equivalent of Parker challenging Klitschko and starting the fight with his hands down to see how big the world champions punch is.
what would Leggat know? NZ got rolled by the best bowling attack in the world. They did their best, but were simply not good enough. End of story. In his three decades of writing about NZ cricket, Leggat is yet to produce anything that is interesting or insightful.
“Even if Taylor was still captaining the test team….”
NZ may not have batted first, on a green top and against the finest opening attack around. The team may have been given a change to feel their way into the game and bat in slightly more conducive conditions.
But, I agree with Alex, the result would have been the same. Our batsmen are technically deficient, have been technically deficient for some years and will continue to be technically deficient but no-one in NZ Cricket seems to think this to be of any relevance whatsoever.
NZ may not have batted first, on a green top and against the finest opening attack around. The team may have been given a change to feel their way into the game and bat in slightly more conducive conditions.
Yeah so the test may have been over in 4 days instead of 3.
This is what happens when you dont have your best team on the park. A middle order with Williamson, Taylor and Ryder is actually quite strong. McCullum needs to keep and bat at 6 or 7. He is not good enough to be a standalone batsman at 1, 2 or 3.
Ross, the only thing holding the South Africans back is that they are playing at home and the admin want to get crowds at the gate on day three. The admin even had the grass cut short for this test so the game might last longer – as none of the locals would buy tickets foir the 4th day let alone the fifth (the last South Africa – Oz test at Newlands ended in three days)
The rot started to set in once Stephen Fleming departed. Tactically, he was probably the best captain of his time. Realistically, we only have 2-3 “world-class” players, and none of them are in this current squad.
And why the f**k is Vettori still on contract? When did he last play for NZ?
I suspect the result wouldn’t have been much different, but the way Taylor was dropped was appalling, and will have affected the team’s spirit. The coach doesn’t have a clue how to deal with people, it seems.
Criticising a professional sports team for failing to reach expectations does not kill anything. No baby fur seals or puppies will die because someone calls a cricket team rubbish. It is a part of why cricketers like to play the game, they can erase it all tomorrow.
If a team shouldn’t be criticised for scoring 45 I don’t know when they ever would.
I’ll restrict my criticism to the folly of choosing to bat. Asking that of the team, when they dodged a bullet winning the toss, was recklessness. That sort of approach may come off from time to time in shorter forms of the game, but its found out in test cricket.
The blackcaps are as crap as their current coaching, management, selectors and administration are which is hardly surprising.
On a more positive note high school cricket is as strong as it ever was with some fantastic cricketers coming through including many saffas and lads from the sub continent… now if only the fatuous gits in NZ cricket give them a chance and remove some of the old deadwood we’d have some battlers at one day and test level available in a few years time.
The black caps now have 3 of the 4 lowest innings totals since 1932. 3 of the lowest 5 if the Oz total of 47 at Newlands in 2011 is included.
Lowest test totals
26: New Zealand v Englnd, Auckland, 1955
30: South Africa v England, Port Elizabeth, 1896
30: South Africa v England, Bimingham, 1924
35: South Africa v England, Cape Town, 1899
36: South Africa v Australia, Melbourne 1932
36: Australia v England, Birmingham, 1902
42: New Zealand v Australia, Wellington, 1946
42: Australia v England, Sydney 1888
42: India v England, Lords, 1974
43: South Africa v England, Cape Town, 1889
44: Australia v England, The Oval, 1896
45: South Africa v Australia, Melbourne, 1932
45: England v Australia, Sydney, 1887
45: New Zealand v South Africa, Cape Town, 2013
Fantastic to see all the cricket experts commenting on this thread.
Batting first was a good call – survive the first session and the track settles down.
Against the best fast bowling line-up since, at least, the late ’60s, early ’70s Windies NZ weren’t quite up it
I must question playing a batsman who has had half a dozen innings pre-Xmas then nothing at four, a complete no-hoper at five, an unproven ‘keeper at six and a proven non-performer at seven after a fragile performer at three is more of a worry.
Yet another bloody disgrace for New Zealand cricket. After a week of thumping their chests and talking themselves up after their T20 fluke win the Black Craps came out and slogged away like they were still playing ‘Hit and Giggle’.
One of the most appalling performances I have seen in over 25 years of watching Test cricket. It would be laughable if these idiots weren’t pissing on the legacy of New Zealand Cricket…
A sad joke from the Board down. hopefully it cannot get worse. What was McCullough thinking opting to bat first. What was the coach thinking. A brain fart from both of them and if SA declared overnight we would be done in 2 days.
Cricket is now risking becoming irrelevant in New Zealand. Remember the 80s when even provincial matches would attract thousands and overseas stars would play in the teams? Now they play to empty stadiums even though the 4 day matches are free entry. Either NZ Cricket start concentrate on player development (starting at school age) or run up the white flag – given the lack of skills NZ cricketers show it’s clear this hasn’t been done for 20 years.
And given that our top cricketers are our highest paid athletes (through the IPL) you’d think youngsters with talent would be falling over themselves to develop themselves.
The South Africans are really good really really good and watching their bowling attack is what cricket is about for me, accurate and fast, none of the trash talking shit, just on the mark ball after ball. Then you have Amla batting ,pure gold and crowd shots of Mrs Graham Smith add icing to the experience
We are really average currently and there is no one in the side that makes you want to go to the park and watch.
My bitch is the way things have been handled by NZC and the coach.
The debacle started in Sri Lanka with Hessan obviously making a huge mistake bringing up the captaincy on tour, a rookie mistake which has divided the NZ cricket public, more likely totally alienated the cricketing public, the ones who pay at the turnstyles like myself. Its bad enough supporting a team thats really average but to be reminded everyday that the sport is in chaos is not needed..
The New Zealands Mens Cricket team is not good enough at the moment to warrant any worry about who captains the side. Hessan might have wanted his man but the prudent thing to do was wait until after the Poms had toured and start afresh then. The only person who has profited is McCullum who gets a wage rise after taking over the captains role.
And with my vast experience as an international cricket captain, I would have thought giving my bowlers a chance on the first morning would have been the go, they had a chance to get 4 -5 wickets in the first session but instead we gave the SA bowlers a net prior to lunch. The SA Cricker board will be shitting themselves possibly missing out on up to 4 days play over two tests.
Dotcom – you are obviously watching pommy rugby. Switch to watching southern hemisphere stuff, the last pom to pick up the ball and run with it was a fellow named William Webb Ellis.
As for soccer, they already do have a penalty kick knockout competition – its called the FIFA World Cup. Although it’s also a showcase for dying fly impersonations, you just need to give them the lightest touch to set them off. Especially the Italians.
Dead-right. Winning the toss and electing to bat first at Newlands by McCullum was an absolute brain-fart. It’s fine for McCullum to say they would take an aggressive approach, but only 2-3 players can play that role (probably only 1-2 in NZ’s case). The rest have to tick over the singles/twos and rotate the strike to the batsman who’s in form and who CAN score. NZ Cricket is in crisis…and has been since Fleming and co left.
Historically, NZ is ranked just above Zimbabwae and Sri Lanka for Test wins/losses. We normally seem to punch above our weight at ODI/T20 level, but always stumble at the quarter/semi final stage. (Maybe they should do a Haka! – not).
But ultimately, the fundamental problem with NZ cricket is poor facilities/surfaces. We will only ever compete internationally when a Trans-Tasman league is introduced.
I seriously think the current New Zealand side would struggle at Sheffield Shield level. They have incredible depth over there, Mike Hussey had 10,000 first class runs and couldn’t get a gallop in the Australian side for years, I see he now has 23,000 first class runs, incredible and he was 30 years old before he made the test line up!!!!!
“Dotcom – you are obviously watching pommy rugby. Switch to watching southern hemisphere stuff, the last pom to pick up the ball and run with it was a fellow named William Webb Ellis.”
The ‘Poms’ seemed to be running with the ball quite nicely a few weeks ago when they absolutely thrashed the allegedly ‘invincible’ All Blacks at Twickenham.
But I guess that was food poisoning… or a crooked referee eh?
I still think McCullum is the best captain. Even though it didn’t work, his decision to bat was an attacking one and the Blackcaps need to attack and take risks to have any chance of winning Tests. As a media trainer, I also think McCullum is clearly a better media communicator than Ross Taylor.
I dont care if the captain is a deaf mute, the job is on the field, do the job well on the field and you get a free ride from the media. I don’t think anyone expected them to beat SA but I think we expected some competitiveness.
They don’t need to attack and take risks certainly not against Philander who would have to be about the best going around at the moment they needed to have a good morning session and grow some confidence and the best way for that to have happened was to bowl when supposedly the wicket would do a bit but na. I would imagine the last place any of those players want to be is at the Newlands Cricket ground today they should be emotionally shattered and there is a good chance that if they don’t have early success they will have 550 against them by the end of the day.
I don’t mean taking risks by batting aggressively. It’s an attacking decision to bat first in a Test and put runs on the board. If you manager that, you can take control and avoid batting last, as pitches usually deteriorate on the last day. McCullum would have expected and backed his team to make 400, but clearly they were pathetic. Remember Geoff Boycott’s line: “If you win the toss, bat. If in doubt, bat. If still in doubt think about it and still bat.” I can’t agree totally with that, but he does make a good point. The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I do take the points made above.
Pete Burdon are you for real ‘back’ his team to make 400?
What was his own contribution again. If you ain’t got the goods be conservative and don’t live on hope.
The South Africans were waiting for bull headedness and slayed it.
longknives 7:08pm. Yeah mate… that’s what having a giant birlliant Islander in your side can do for ya eh?
But Manu Tuilagi didn’t do it all by himself. They were damned good. The Brit players still can’t fucking run with ball in hand. try naming some standout steppers that came out of the UK. They’ve got a few in league but not union so much. it’s just something that must be missing when they play as kids learning the game. They can’t fuckin step… change angles… deceive with change of pace… draw and pass.. all the champagne skills that are you bother watching in the first place.
I think with all the ex-internationals and league players coming and going you’d hope the union boys would have plenty of running rugby influences. They’ve got a shitload of Islanders that play over there and you’d think they’d learn running rugby from them. Even in shitty northern winter conditions there’s no excuse for not having a crack with ball in hand.
Cricket… I’m not a big fan of it… and yet I know a few useless sports trivia things about it and players etc.
NZ cricket team is interesting because they can be total shit a lot of the time and then really turn it on and play brilliantly.
I always say that if NZ had 20 million people… or same amount as Aussie say… NZ would likely be the best in the world at cricket.
Small population = not the playing numbers to compete with top nations. But then you’ve got the 1980s Hadlee era that would go against that theory. But that’s cricket… one man can win tests on his own. Hadlee had a good supporting cast but still. Even then NZ didn’t win every test and one-dayer it played during that golden era.
Just imagine NZ with four times the population. Four Hadlees? Four McCullums? Four Bonds? You get the idea.
fantastic fightback from the lads, ensuring game goes into third day!!
a captain’s knock from Bazza, leading by example
true Kiwi grit on display from Brownlie (or should that be ozzie grit, Pauleastbay?) But what a timely knock that was, and scored at a decent rate. If Backcaps can get a lead of 100+, a miraculous win is not out of the question. Philander’s 2nd innings bowling figures suggest that the pitch is a lot easier to bat on this time. Give credit where it’s due, a great comeback lads!!
Just goes to show what an advantage it was to win the toss and how badly this was wasted.
The way the South Africans struggled on the second morning shows that this session will be the tough one on the third day. So I still expect a defeat by an innings shortly after lunch on the third day.
“Remember Geoff Boycott’s line: “If you win the toss, bat. If in doubt, bat.”
The difference being- Geoff Boycott could bat, I mean really bat.
These Black Cap clowns think that playing ramp shots and cross the line slogs in T20 ‘Hit and Giggle’ makes them good batsmen. They are the laughing stock of World cricket.
“fantastic fightback” “true kiwi grit on display” “a miraculous win is not out of the question.”
I strongly suggest you stop smoking crack before breakfast.
Nostalgia, call me an optimist, but on our day and if the batsmen keep their heads, I absolutely think we are capable of 400+.
When have we ever done that regularly? The top & middle order haven’t functioned consistently for a very long time.
This “aggressive” approach I keep hearing about from McCullum & his apologists is a load of crock. We’ve always done best grinding out results with defensive cricket…rotating the strike, seeing off the new ball & batting 4 time, taking the pace off the ball when bowling & stifling the batting side with defensive fields.
McCullum averages 35, and with Chris Martin is the most experienced player by 40 tests.
NZ averages are always lower than everyone elses. But Ed Cowan opens for Australia and has an average around 32. Phil Hughes is #3 but has opened and may be a chance to fill that spot in the future; he averages 35. Shane Watson the injured incumbent opener averages 37-ish.
Clarke ~ 53
Hussey ~ 51
Ponting ~ 52
Warner ~ 47
If you really want to start the long road back to fixing NZ cricket then NZ cricket needs to make major changes to the way the game is run in this country.
It should be said that what I am about to suggest is not a quick fix as we simply do not have the talent for that, however in time it would see us back to being competitive. What a lot of cricket fans forget is that even in the halcyon days of Hadlee, Crowe, Wright and Edgar etc we still lost more games than we won but at least we put up a fight.
The areas I would address are as follows.
1. Players union.
The power of the players union must be crushed, all of the changes I am about to suggest cannot be made with the players union retaining their current level of power. What we must accept is that the current playing squad will not agree to change in any form because the system suits them as it is, they (the players) will resist and use the power of their union to do so, take away the union and you take away player power.
2. Players payments.
NZC must do away with the retainer system we currently use. The retainer system might work well in countries with depth but in a country like NZ we cannot justify it. Our test players should be paid for performance, bugger all for a loss, a good amount for a draw and paid very well for a win. Payments for ODI and T20 games should be on the same basis. The retainer system can be reintroduced when NZ cricket start to perform at an acceptable level again.
3. The poison that is the IPL.
Most of our current players are using the First class, ODI and Test games to make their name in the hope of being selected for an IPL team. We only have to witness the way that some of our senior players bat in a test match to see this. The only way of changing this is to take away the chance of those players to be exposed to the cancerous IPL agents and teams. If some of our players are not prepared to do what is required to better our test team (because everything flows from the test team) then they should not be picked.
4. Our Domestic game
NZC must go cap in hand to the Aussie’s and beg (yes beg) to be included in their domestic first class competition. Ideally we would have two teams, a North Island team and a South Island team (We should not seek to be included in their ODI or T20 competitions)
I would also remove first class status from our own domestic competition, yes we should still continue to play inter provincial cricket but the standard is so low that it does not justify first class status.
Both the North and South Island teams should not be restricted to players from those islands, we would simply use those names for geographical reasons. The NZC selectors should pick the best twenty two players (including our test squad) for these teams, the players would have to perform to stay in those teams. Our current provincial teams would be used as a stepping stone to first class status in the North or South Island teams.
5. Kiwis in OZ
There are more Luke Ronchi’s in Aussie, we need them to be playing for New Zealand. Our selectors should be trawling through the Aussie first class teams and through the grade cricket competitions in the larger cities for players born in NZ or those who have Kiwi parents. These players should be offered the chance to play for NZ and the chance to be selected in either the North or South island teams. I would have no issue at all if the vast majority of our two first class teams were made up of players born or raised in Aussie if those players were superior to our own home grown domestic players.
6. Junior development
The reason NZ does so well at Rugby is because of the number of kids we have playing the game. It is a simple equation, the more you have to pick from the stronger the team is going to be. I would invest a substantial amount of money in coaching kids as young as eight to ten, we need to ensure that the cricket associations have an army of qualified coaches who are happy to go into our schools and promote the game, we could afford this by doing away with the current retainer system and by reducing the ridiculous amount of money we pay out to non performing players.
7. Coaching and selections.
NZC must find the money to get the best coach there is, he will need to be one with credibility in the players eyes (yes, even our under performing and over paid players) and the board must support this coach. As an example of this the current situation where we have McCullum dicatating where he will bat in the team us unacceptable. A decent coach would look at the make up of our test team (and the performance of McCullum as an opener) and tell him that his place in the team was as the wicketkeeper and number seven batsmen. We simply cannot have a player telling the selectors or coach where he wants to bat.
So, while the changes I have proposed would cause huge ructions inside the game in NZ the simple fact is that our game is not good enough to continue as it is. If we really want to better the game in NZ then we cannot keep doing as we have done in the past and expect to get better.
A top effort from the Blackcaps! Almost made the Saffers have to bat again, and would have if not for an unforeseen batting collapse (last 5 wickets fell in space of about 50 odds). Unusual, because in the past the BC’s lower order batting has been a strength. But they missed the true Kiwi grit of Vettori, who can be relied upon to make those much needed runs at crucial times. A great knock from Brownlie nevertheless, just a pity he couldn’t go on with it, but a maiden test century against that very skilled bowling attack is a great achievement. Also the good fighting knock from Watling should be mentioned. The inclusion of Wagner and Munroe for the next test should increase the quotient of Saffer grit. We just need some more of that Kiwi grit to go along with the Ozzie and Saffer grit, and I can see us being very competitive in the test !!
So if we had chosen to field on the first day, with the South Africans having to set a target, there was the chance of taking the game into the 5th day.
Dont be blinded by hindsight.
If NZ survives the first session, the pitch settles down, and starts to break up on the 5th day. If we decide to field, SA survives the first session, posts around 400, game over. NZ would then need to bat out the 5th day, on a bad pitch just to save a draw. At best.
It was a woeful batting performance, but the decision to bat first is not bad one.
Ordinarily, I would agree but not in this case. it was the worst possible decision. Even Smith expressed surprise. It was a decision based on the macho approach that McCullum is trying to bring to the captaincy.
‘Nookin (2,316) Says:
January 5th, 2013 at 12:43 pm
“but the decision to bat first is not bad one.”
Ordinarily, I would agree but not in this case. it was the worst possible decision. Even Smith expressed surprise. It was a decision based on the macho approach that McCullum is trying to bring to the captaincy.’
I couldn’t help but think that he was only thinking of his own game, just as he was thinking of the Captaincy when the coach had the knives out for Taylor. When you don’t have the batting firepower play it safe and steady especially when playing overseas and don’t confuse your own game with that of the team as a whole. Our bowling is our comparative strength at the moment I can’t see why Mc Cullum didn’t let them loose at the outset. His own batting would have benefited from the bowlers having lead the way, as much as we know of his character and the NZ game we get tougher as the game wears on and chasing a total. Excuse me, it just might be the bitter pill, a flashing batsman that comes off occasionally and only infrequent plays a long innings could be the only way to go.