Originally Posted by straw man
So maybe NZ cricket is not all doom and gloom after pushing India close at home in the second test.
However in terms of development the performance was built on some things we already knew were rare strengths in this side:
- Our best batsman (by a comfortable distance) scored a century
- Our seam attack was threatening. Although Southee turning all that raw ability into actual results was new, most of us were already thinking our seam attack as a whole is a strength or would soon be. Southee, Boult, Bracewell with backup from Wagner and a couple of others could be very strong and just need some time to quietly improve further.
So what actual development has occurred that wasn't really expected? Nothing huge:
- Patel bowled better than expected though is still no world-beater
- Van Wyk scored runs. Still question marks over keeping/slips positioning which he and Taylor need to sort out.
- Maybe, just maybe, some of our batsmen will have improved their approach against spin and that will yield dividends in Sri Lanka.
It's still doom and gloom for me.
The bowling's Ok, but suffers from signficant limitations. It's great to see Southee getting back to being a demon with the new ball, but he still looks fairly tame once the polish wears off. He's got a lot of limited overs cricket between now and the SL tour, so fingers crossed that he doesn't go backwards in the interim. Boult oscilates wildly between being brilliant and bloody awful. It's an experience thing, I know, but I really don't think he was that harshly done by, figures wise. For all the magic inswingers he produced, he let the pressure off way too often by drifting into the pads or serving up wide half volleys. Really hoping he tightens up over the next couple of seasons, as he's got all the tools to be a sub-30 career average bowler. Bracewell worried me a bit this tour, he looked much more loose than he did during the SA series. But its his first time in the sub-continent, so I guess it's OK to give him a free pass.
As a unit they get a B, but the lack of experience showed when they produced a ghastly first hour during India's run chase which really took all the pressure off. That played as much a part in New Zealand's defeat in the 2nd test as the shoddy batting, awful fielding and indifferent umpiring.
The batting's gone nowhere. New Zealand certainly batted with more purpose in the 2nd test than in the first, but honestly, they'll never score much more than 350 batting in that fashion, and will usually score significantly less. That's simply not enough runs to win test matches. There's no real signs of batsmen improving either. Taylor still can't last for much longer than 3 hours at the crease without self destructing. McCullum really doesn't look cut out to be a top order test bat. Guptill went backwards since his good series in WI. Kane remains stuck in limbo, neither threatening to have a total meltdown, nor seriously promising to becoming a genuine test class number 3. There's no serious challengers for an opening spot. It's a mess. Things could improve with Ryder and Vettori (if he regains his form circa 2008-2011). But you might as well wish for the moon as far as Ryder is concerned, and it may be that Vettori's natural hand-eye coordination is no longer able to compensate for his curious technique.
Fielding's a shambles, and if it doesn't improve in the next 12 months, serious questions have to be asked about Hesson and his support staff. If we're going to be **** at batting and OK at bowling then we have to be brilliant at fielding (as we were in Hobart).