How can one sum up Fleming's Career? I guess by now everybody has heard the plaudits and read the Stats and Hard Data, Most Runs by a NewZealander, Most Tests by A New Zealander, Most Test Victories by a New Zealand Captain, Our Greatest Ever Batsman.
Although those who have worked in Stats know, the numbers have to be broken down to get a more Honest and Clearer picture of his career. Yes Fleming is still a Great Batsmen and a Good Captain, but if your going to dig deeper you will some other Stats that kinda puts his Career into perspective.
Of his 28 Test Wins, 17 have been against the Minnows, Bangladesh (6), Zimbawae (6), West Indies (5).
He Never won a Test against Australia or a Series against South Africa or Pakistan.
He never made a world cup final.
He has the second worst conversion rate of 50's to 100's in Test History.
He has a 0-9 record against Australia
He has a 2-10 record against South Africa
He has a 2-5 record against Pakistan
He has a 3-8 record against Sri Lanka
You may ask, what is my beef with Fleming?, well here it it. He is an amazing Batsmen, he is so naturally gifted it's beyond belief, to watch him stroke the ball for ten years has been a delight, I cannot for my life fathom someone who is so gifted, underachieving as Fleming has done.
If you get 43 50's, you should have more centuries, if you are Captain you should be leading by example to the younger players during training, you should be in the Nets to all hours working on your game, something that Fleming has never liked to do. Sure he completes his Net Sessions, but thats it, he was never like a Warne or a Ponting, players who would stay for hours after the official training sessions.
Then there was his Image, he was a media Darling, every NZ commentator will tell the public, what a wonderful, soft spoken young man he is, who is also very thickskinned, he is a great Ambassador for the game they say. Well Image is different to reality, as people who have meet Fleming, might tell you.
The media also keep quite on a few issues, the Blackcaps partying at Night during the middle of test Matches and having Journalists out with them, whom told the public the next day, that the team were in bed at a decent hour. I don't think 330am is a decent hour if you have to bat the next day.
They also keep quiet on how Fleming had a BIG say in the selection of the team, sometimes at a cost to the blackcaps.
Still, I am probably far to picky, I mean what kind of idiot, would bag a guy who has scored nearly 7000 runs for his country and is loved and admired all over the cricket world, a guy who has hold our fragile batting order together, a guy who has represented his country in his chosen sport for over ten years, a guy who will go on to be successful in anything he does.
I just have the belief, that if you went to Fleming at the start of his career and told him, You will never beat Aussie in a test or Pakistan and South Africa in a series, but you will play 100 tests and average 39, I don't think he would except that, because in the end, a Great Player will have a Great Career, a Legend will give his team Victories