Its a major weakness of the NZ test team and it just continues Ad nauseam.
We have youth development squads.
youngsters with talent are identified at 11 years old and put into representative teams with specialist training and training facilities.
We not only have an FC system but have an FC second XI system as well that plays games.
We have the Hawke cup for people to play a level down from FC and cut their teeth against good players.
Most provinces like Wellington also have an under 21 year old team as well to further develop young players.
I think NZC is making a major effort. Most batsman just don't want to open. It is harder - way harder than coming in at 4 or 5. Most of the best batsman all choose to bat in the middle order for their teams growing up. Where does that Tim Seifert bat? I don't think he is an opener either.
So I just think there is a dearth of quality youngsters putting up their hands to open.
ND has Yovich opening which probably says a lot.
welcome to the site btw
Opening the batting wasn't popular in the tween/early teen age groups when I played school cricket. Only became popular later on in high school.
One anecdote isn't true for everywhere though.
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So there has been a dearth of youngsters for the last 20 years? If Richardson can turn himself into an opener, when he wasn't the most talented player, surely others can do the same?
Thanks for the welcome.
Last edited by Wright; 25-02-2013 at 12:17 AM.
This isn't really answering your question. It is just an observation about opening. I don't really think you can convert middle order players into openers easily. I think it is possible - but I think it takes a couple of seasons to get used to it.
When I used to open at club level I had many lessons I had learned over the years and I noticed people who I opened with would do the same things as me.
a) It is ok to face a maiden - don't get stressed if the first four balls are dots.
b) we were experts at leaving the ball and would have two types of leaves. The extravagant waving of the bat - shouldering arms leave and the withdrawing the bat inside the line of the ball at the last second leave to a pearler.
c) we set goals - mine were to survive the first 6 overs and then to start playing shots. Others set goals of reaching the ten over mark before they would play an expansive shot.
d) we knew our limitations and wouldn't try anything fancy.
e) we would ear mark bowlers to just see off because they were having a good day.
No-one wants to open, it's a thankless task. You face the best bowlers with a new ball at their freshest yet still get held to the same standards as the hacks with good eyes who come in to have a swing at 5 and 6.
Exit pursued by a bear
Anecdotally, the best batsmen get to choose where they bat. If you have the choice of facing the best bowlers and a new ball or come in against the older ball and average 10 more...well, the choice is easy. The rest of the batsmen have to find a niche, and the less talented end up in the opening position.
When there's more competition for places, better batsmen will be forced to try out opening to get a spot in the team.
Interesting thoughts Hurricane.
wellAlbidarned, If you could make a living out of it, wouldnt it be worth a try? Say youre a decent 20 year old middle order player, its a log jam to get into the middle order of NZ cricket, wouldnt it be worth a try to turn yourself into a solid opener and earn a decent living if you were successful by doing it.
Some people already talking about Jesse opening in tests so he can get back in the team.
Firstly, equal difficulty doesn't automatically mean the right specialist skills are developed. Facing a good domestic seamer on a green top may be as hard or even harder overall than facing a moderate Test opening bowler on a flat wicket, but they require two very different skillsets. Successful domestic openers were developing skills essentially irrelevant in Test cricket and lacking skills that were crucial for success there. It's for this reason that the best way to prepare domestic players for Test cricket is always to mirror Test conditions as much as possible; not to try and mirror the difficulty level.
Secondly, the state of the pitches made opening disproportionately harder than batting 4-6, which meant it was silly for domestic sides to actually bat their most talented players in the top order. It made a lot more sense on those tracks to protect the guns with more moderately talented players and stack the middle to lower order.
Last edited by Prince EWS; 25-02-2013 at 12:57 AM.
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