I don't have too much of a problem with McCullum's decision to bat first, because it is a decision that a captain should be able to make. However, this is a case in which a coach should step in and temper his aggression with what he knows to be reality.
The reality is that our bowling attack>our batting lineup. By a long way
The best we can hope for batting first on a spicy deck: 300, absolute max against this bowling attack.
The worst that may happen batting first: 45 all out.
The best we can hope for bowling first: opposition 150 all out.
The worst that can happen: 350/2 at the end of the day.
At some point someone has to make the decision to do justice to our bowlers. That has to come from the coach.
It's not the captain's job to be entirely realistic, IMO. He has to maintain positivity. He just needs to have that tempered by reality from the coach.
Disappointed to see Amla "failed". Was looking forward to watching him bat for several days.
Philander Superb spell. Outstanding.
If you lose the toss as a captain you always claim that you were going to do what you end up doing anyway. So I don't think those words count for much.
Exit pursuing a beer
With all options considered, to me, bowling first was the best idea. The pitch was only going to become better to bat on, we don't have a world class spinner (nor do they) so them batting fourth is not a poor option.
And yeah, Philander et all bowled well. But nigh on every batsmen fell when tighter techniques would have served them better.
I wouldn't say he is that great against the moving ball, but he does dig in for the long haul and I can see a junior batsman like him copping the blame for last night.
Franklin's last test?
Franklin and Brownlie will drop out before Flynn.
Prepare for the luckiest 51* you'll ever see to save his arse for another 20 games in the 3rd innings
I would like to see Neesham come in for Franklin.
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