We drew England here in South Africa, for much the same reasons NZ did in NZ. We then went on to beat them at home. I have faith that NZ can do the same!
Nice post-match interviews for those who haven't seen them - Cricket: McCullum sticks by his declaration decision - Sport - NZ Herald News
The timing of the declaration is only relevant because NZ didnt win
If the bails had fallen off when Prior was 20 odd, no-one would care
Edit: Wagner never gets the new ball... he's being used as an old ball specialist, which is fair enough, but obviously tougher for him that way. Would love to see what he can do with a new cherry sometime as he does for Otago.
Last edited by KungFu_Kallis; 26-03-2013 at 02:08 PM.
A bit more happy about Taylor's solid catching once again after people were criticizing him up here during the lunch break. One single performance doesn't prove anything, that's sure, but it felt good nonetheless.
It's the pitch, stupid.
However, as good as he was in Auckland, he was equally bad in Wellington - leaking runs at 4+ an over, drifting into the pads and dishing up short stuff with alarming regularity, and generally undermining the pressure that the rest of the side was trying to build up. He struggled with this inconsistency throughout the winter as well. He was excellent in Sri Lanka, but served up a lot of free runs in the crucial second test against India.
Southee looked like he was only at about 80% in this series (particularly in the first two matches), but he was offering far fewer freebies and when fully fit bowls at the same pace as Boult (as we saw in SL). I agree that Boult may have a higher ceiling though.
I also agree that we need someone a bit different in the 3rd seamers role. Wagner did well in this series, but he's not a natural 3rd seamer and very few of his wickets were down to anything other than batsman error. A bounce or pace bowler would be ideal. Milne hasn't played enough this season to merit a callup, but maybe Butler has earnt a go. He's actually done quite a bit of his bowling for Otago this season as first change, which should prepare him well for performing the role for the national side.
Squad for the return tour (assuming Vettori isn't fit)
Ronchi can serve as both a replacement number 6 if Brownlie or McCullum get injured, as well as a replacement wk if Watling is injured. I don't like including Guptill, but I don't think Raval has done quite enough yet to warrant a test callup, and in spite of his recent performances, I still rate Guppy slightly higher than Redmond.
Yesterday was the first time i'd seen Boult get reverse swing.
That adds a lot to his credentials IMO.
Happy with the declaration tbh. Great game.
The only thing I think McCullum got wrong is that he generally went for inswing against the batsmen - i.e. he'd bowl Southee vs Prior and Boult vs left hand Broad (when they were both reversing it).
Inswing is great against clueless tailenders but the English were smart about it - Prior just told everyone to get outside the line of off stump and they were safe.
It would have been better to have a bit of outswing so they actually wouldn't know when to play.
I think that was possibly more down to smart English tactics rather than McCullum tbf, Prior and Broad probably planned it out like that.
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