Yep AWTA, despite CW making him a running joke Hopkins has always seemed like a very impressive leader tstl.
In hindsight he probably should've pinched at least one young batsman he rated with a 'come to Auckland, it'll widen your horizons, Eden Park No. 2 will be full of runs, we're a genuinely pro outfit, you'll go places' talk before this season's contracts. Not unlike like the way Mitch had a chat with him before being signed up. Maybe he can make a play for Tim Seifert before he gets too tainted with ND batting juices.
Excellent article by Martin Crowe - really interesting to see what he has to say about every one of the top 6.
Martin Crowe : Martin Crowe: A letter to New Zealand's batsmen | Cricinfo Magazine | ESPN Cricinfo
Particularly like the criticism of the go-to phrase 'batting with positive intent'.
Tried to dig up some comments from all of us after Brownlie's successful debut series, where we all joked that after a good start at 6 someone would get the bright idea that he should move up to 3, following in the unsuccessful footsteps of Flynn mark 1 and Williamson. Couldn't find the comments but now some of you are suggesting it for real. Ugh, can we please not :wacko:. He's not even back in the team yet and only bats 4 or 5 for Canterbury. A weakness against spin on spinning wickets is no reason for a permanent move up the order - it's just a reason to work on playing spin.
Thought about our side for the immediate future. Although I think people are romanticising a little how well Ryder would bat if he returned to the side, best case with bowling included he would make a big difference to the team. So, with Ryder and without Ryder.
With fully fit Ryder who can bowl:
Williamson for a few more tests
Vettori (4) or sometimes a fourth seamer
Bracewell (3) for a few more tests
Ryder solves the balance problem. You might be surprised to see Vettori at 8. My judgement though is that with some wicket-taking ability in Boult/Southee, Vettori may be able to just do a job with the ball. He may even benefit from bowling a little more often when the opposition batting is under some pressure. It's not ideal but in looking at the alternatives I think this is best. Most days we will want to play a spinner and there's a part of me that wants to select Patel instead but I dismiss that as sentimentality. Vettori offers so much more with the bat in addition to averageness with the ball. Occasionally play a fourth seamer instead.
If Bracewell is at 9 then he's there purely as a bowler and IF he continues to struggle we can afford to drop him for anyone who we think is a better pure bowler. I don't know who right now - probably one of Gillespie, Milne, Wagner, Wheeler. With Vettori in the side Bracewell needs to be a wicket-taker.
Thought long and hard about Guptill and Williamson. For Guptill, I just think there is no-one else right now. And the chances of Guppy coming good, as little as they are, are still better than throwing Watling in there or someone like Rutherford.
Williamson needs runs soon though. I would very likely give him the South Africa series, and it might as well be at 3, but if he's still batting poorly it will be time to bring someone else in and give Williamson some time to clear his head and work towards a return. If Ryder is in the side I think we can afford to move Taylor up to 3 at that point (whereas I thinks it's too much of a risk with Ryder absent). So the new guy comes in at 4 - a Brownlie or Watling or someone who's doing well in domestix.
With Ryder absent:
Van Wyk/ Watling
Wells/Neesham/Anderson/Carl Cachopa (5)
This is more experimental because we need to make sure our bowling is not just 3 seamers plus Vettori with no part-timers - that's weakening the bowling too much where it should be our strength. It gets a bit ugly because there's no one who is quite there yet for the number 8 spot. Pick someone with potential and try grow them into the role (which may then cause them to be moved up the order).
In both this and my previous side, if Van Wyk has an extended period of failure then Watling comes in as keeper. But I'd keep Van Wyk for now. Though NZ does need to give Watling a signal on what he's meant be some time soon.
6/7/8 in the above side could be rearranged in any order.
Four seamers and the batsmen can go and **** themselves imo. Vettori doesn't play unless he is part of a five man attack, learns how to bowl awesomely again or bats in the top six.
God, saying Guptill should stay in the team is like drinking warm sick, but I guess I agree there aren't many other realistic options. Don't think any of the all rounder potentials have really earned a place yet.
Gulptill, McCullum, Taylor, Brownlie/Ryder, Flynn, Williamson/Vettori, van Wyk, Bracewell, Southee, Patel, Boult
Jeets...omg can't believe I'm saying this...Jeets is showing he might be a decent bowler and may possibly deserve to be the spinner on decks that suit.
edit: I suppose we could tell watling to open (again) or pick Rutherford and get his 20 from 25 balls instead of 50, but that would be a dick move on either so nah.
Might work... I guess
I want Taylor at 3, Ryder at 4.
Reason being that Ryder takes pressure off Taylor and McCullum, and they each take pressure off each other. They know there's no need to force the runs and "be positive". Also, a top 4 containing McCullum, Taylor and Ryder is a nice prospect
Guptill (noone else, unfortunate)
Flynn (need a left hander in the top 4)
So it's just Browlie for Ryder, but a bit of variety needed in the top 4 so Flynn leapfrogs Williamson.
We'll be locking this thread in 3 days after our innings win in the next test.