Hall of Fame Member
Abbott is the goods.
The problem with judging bowling depth is you're going to see more of the reserves from injury prone or uncertain sides like Australia but because Steyn, Philander and Morkel are the great combination of always fit and always good you're not going to see their bench strength very often.
South Africa probably have bench strength as good as anyone's, but because it's a minor miracle to get the preffered Australian attack on the park (which always involves debate around who should be picked from Siddle/Patto/Starc) we see their bench tested in test cricket more often so they get more spotlight.
Yeah I'd probably drop a guy who has 99 test wickets @ 27 for a guy who has played two test matches too....IMO South Africa has the highest quality of depth, but it isn't that deep. Abbott would walk into any other international side (opening for all bar Australia and England, where he'd be first change IMO). Hendricks is a gun, and de Lange is pretty useful as well -- but McLaren, Parnell, Rabada etc are all a class below the first three.
Blokes been bowling his brains out for 18 months (ODI's included), and suggestions like this still astound me. Mitch has not just been successful because "conditions" (obviously they have helped), he's been every bit as good as an "all-round" bowler as Harris which is what makes them so dangerous together. The series in UAE showed this if nothing else.Taylor is better than any Oceania batsman not called Clarke by a considerable distance.
It would be a low scoring series, so maybe a bit of a lottery. Individual batsmen rather than the units as a whole would stand up and do the bulk of the scoring. Harris, Johnson, Southee and Boult would have the number of the batsmen more often than not. I'd back the home team to win.
Harris and Johnson at home are the complete pair and Southee is well suited to Australian conditions too. It's often forgotten he often bowls into the wicket from a great height with lots of variations (including an offcutter I haven't seen a batsman pick yet) in his second spell. He's not just a swing bowler. Boult loves left handers so it would be a good test of the Australian opening pair. Warner is a gem so I'd back him to make a score or two.
New Zealand play spin better as a unit but spinners taking wickets won't be a major point in either host country. Spin is where Australia have the edge actually unless Mark Craig can either consistently take lots of wickets or stop getting hammered on his off days. Finger spinners die in Oceania. Vettori, Lyon and Hauritz are the only ones to make a go of it, and touring Asian spinners who use quick turn as their main weapon just come onto the bat nicely. Lyon is more likely to hold it together than Craig, so New Zealand would really need to target him.
Johnson would not have much fun in Dunedin or Hamilton, but both grounds are places Twatto can get some reverse going. Johnson at the Basin is in business, and Harris will deliver everywhere.
2nd Test: New Zealand v Australia at Hamilton, Mar 27-31, 2010 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN CricinfoBlokes been bowling his brains out for 18 months (ODI's included), and suggestions like this still astound me. Mitch has not just been successful because "conditions" (obviously they have helped), he's been every bit as good as an "all-round" bowler as Harris which is what makes them so dangerous together. The series in UAE showed this if nothing else.