I know that for some odd reason I've earned a reputation for being a bit of pessimist over the years, so I thought I'd make the most of it right now by having a long miserable rant about the doomed future of New Zealand cricket. And no, this isn't just my attempt to reverse-jinx New Zealand into winning the 2nd test.
I'm really worried about the future of the team at the moment. I just don't see how things are going to turn around. Vettori is the best spinner in the country by miles and he's completely rubbish. Martin is still probably our most consistently effective seamer and he's at least 5 years past his best. Taylor is our best batsman by a distance, and even he has only a vague notion of how to build a test innings.
The next generation of fast mediums are either ridiculously injury prone or worryingly pedestrian. Outside of the Taylor-Ryder-Williamson trifecta, there don't appear to be any emerging New Zealanders capable of averaging 35+ in test matches (or ODI's for that matter). The team doesn't even have sucess in limited overs cricket to stimulate public interest anymore. As shown by the following article, in terms of on the field performances New Zealand is now the 9th best ODI side in the world.
Numbers Game: Desperately seeking a facelift | Regulars | Cricinfo Magazine | ESPN Cricinfo
I know success and failure are cyclical in sport, but I'm really worried that we might be seeing a permanent decline in the fortunes of New Zealand cricket. As a cricketing nation, we've basically been getting progressively worse since Chris Cairns retired in 2004, despite the emergence of several long heralded players.
Is there any hope that things will turn around? I honestly don't know, but I struggle to see anyone new changing things anytime within the next 5 years. There are a few potentially exciting youngsters floating around here and there, but we've been hearing tales of how young cricketers (fast bowlers in particular) will arrest New Zealand's slump for years (cough...Sherlock...cough). It never seems to eventuate. If change is going to be achieved, I think it has to come from the current core of the side. The problem is that we've been waiting for such a change for the past 4 years. At this stage I just don't know if it will ever happen.