I think I pretty much agree with all that has already been said here. The bowling has definitely improved in the past few years - although maybe there are too many bowlers trying to take wickets with every ball, accuracy seems to have gone missing - while batting has been static at best.
I am really glad we seem to have left the days of the Michael Masons behind, those were truly dire times for first class cricket.
As for the batting, well we have lost some domestic stalwarts, the Parlanes and so on and the NZ players are away. But most of the batsmen left do seem terribly out of form. Which is a bit stink really. But Munro, Cachopa et al have shown that runs can be scored at the top of the order.
Michael Mason, along with O'Brien and Adams, was unlucky not to be five years younger tbh. Seriously underrated bowlers until O'Brien proved us all wrong about the perceived journeymen. They were unlucky to be around during a time when we had reasonable depth, though some wtf bowlers like Butler mk I were picked ahead of them.
Edit. which was a shame as I would have loved to have seen some decent Rydeer v Southee action.
And yes, Mitchell was fielding at slip. His catch off Papps was a screamer.
Kugs looked seriously competent with the bat. Not tempted to get some slogging revenge on Southee :)
I just popped down to walk the dog and catch the last half hour.
I don't think all the bowlers at this level have the stamina to bowl as well late in the day, with the old ball etc. That's part of what separates the best from the rest. Especially young bowlers coming in as their is no decent 2nd XI comp. E.G this would have been a big jump in intensity for Tugaga today, while Kuggeleijn is probably playing above his level at this stage of his career, but Siddons is a big fan. Wellington depth tested today.
During the last decade - by the time of the 5th round of Plunket Shield takes place, it is March, all teams have 2 spinners, everyone's keeper is batting in the top 5 or 6 etc as the batting is goooood.
This years domestic schedule will shake up some of the 'norms' of the last decade.
didn't mason dismiss ponting for nz while ponting was good.
anyway mase is a legend.
I remember one game there was a thin line of grass outside off stump. So Mase targeted it and hit it every ball and got great movement as a result. Amazing accuracy.
And he wasn't just line and length. If there was even a tiny bit of movement, he found it. He was no world beater, but he was a bloody good bowler. He got my heart racing because during a time when CD wasn't overflowing with bowling talent, he won us games by himself. Line and length + movement at 135kph will always take wickets in FC and be competent in tests.
Ian Butler as a youngster was bad. Wasn't very fast, didn't move the ball, and didn't know where it would land. Give me the Mug any day.
edit: if you want to attack a not so good bowler who took a truckload, there are much better examples to pick than Michael Mason. We both agree some lesser bowlers were the stars of their attacks back in the day, but Mason would still command a place in CD today if he was in his pomp, much like Brent Arnel would in a full strength ND line up today.
Agreed. I think we may have overcompensated for the green tops we wheeled out for yonks, judging by all the talk of roady mcroads a few years ago by players, journalists and commentators, but now we may have found the happy medium. There have still been greenish pitches and roads this season, but now there is variety.
Would also be interested to hear if Stevo has any inside goss on the Auckland top order, because they have really relied on the 6/7/8 this season despite batting at one of the more benign grounds for batting. Losing a few good players to other provinces has probably played a big part I'm guessing?