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*Unofficial* New Zealand Black Caps Thread

Fuller Pilch

Cricketer Of The Year
It's only a grade 1 tear for Nicholls, he should be all right for the first test. He will miss the warm up games. In case he misses the first test, I'd rather they go for Darryl Michell or Bracewell as a replacement for Nicholls than Rutherford or Ravindra. I just can't come to grips with players playing at a completely different position although it does happen regularly for debutants or starters. Or they should be insisting Firebirds play Ravindra in the middle or late order in domestic cricket if that is where they look to slot him in test cricket.

I see Stead mentioning the warm up games are not actually first class games. That sucks... takes out all the seriousness out of the game. I don't know why they do that. We will see 15 players fronting up for the warm up games from both sides and it will not necessarily help batters in particular. Last time around in UK I remember Young and Blundell were out like 2-3 times in a day but still got to carry on batting. Couple of our guys played for the opponents as well I think. I won't be watching the warm ups that's for sure.
They are not 1st class games so that the IPL can join in if they arrive partway through a game.
 

CharlesLara

U19 12th Man
Massively overhyped cricketer though, Ravindra. Likes to paint his very pretty and insubstantial pictures in artificial settings. Never really picked school sides or U19 sides up on his own back any carried them over the line, so the jury is still very much out on him. Definitely not the 'Pooran levels of hand-eye, multimillionaire by age 25' sort of talent a poster like you initially gauged him as.
Agree with this.

We've been told he's the next one before he even had the chops or records to even say such things. I remember you distinctly putting him in the Kane Williamson category of talent, and as someone whose seen Kane at close quarters and followed him trajectory as a peer, this was never going to be the case.

Not saying he has to be a generational talent, not at all, but the idea that our next "batting talent" is happy being a part time off spinner who bats a bit is a bit concerning. I know beggars cant be choosers, and he definitely is a talent but when do we start seeing us players for specific roles (Openers, Spinners etc) rather than shoehorn guys in who you rate. Whats Ravindra motivation in domestic cricket knowing that he's had a spot reserved for him since the press has been talking about him as a youth?

This is going to come across as harsh and Im sure he will improve, make me eat my words and go on to be exactly what we need him to be, but this bits and pieces type selections are always a bit baffling, and thats taking into consideration or player pool and depth.
 

Flem274*

123/5
Allrounders take a little while to get going compared to specialists because they're doing two professional jobs. You can see this in the early career statistics of very good allrounders like Cairns and Flintoff and even the greats like Sobers, Imran and Kallis.

I don't expect Ravindra to keep pace with KW initially, especially since he has also chosen the two worst jobs in the Plunket Shield to specialise in - opening batsman and spin bowler. Ravindra is 22 years old and made his debut as a teenager for NZ A. Compared to even specialist batsmen like Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Will Young and Devon Conway his progress compared to their progress at 22 is exceptional. As a spin bowler he is about what you expect from a young finger spinner in the Plunket Shield.

He would already be a better batsman or bowler by now if he just chose one, but the potential future pay off when he is 25-26 is far better for NZ than a somewhat better specialist tomorrow. If he stagnates and is still the same "nearly there" player he is now at age 25-26 then he can drop one discipline with no real harm done. 28 year olds becoming test regulars is quite normal.

There are definitely issues with his cricket - his batting is a bit nets god and his bowling is raw af - I just don't expect there not to be issues with a 22 year old allrounder. South Africa lost Devon Conway specifically because he could not be good on their schedules, and now they're paying for it.

So yeah I'm not concerned. He is doing better than what anyone would predict if told in 2018 when he debuted "Player X is a teenage allrounder who opens the batting and bowls finger spin in the Plunket Shield, predict his averages in 4 years". Everyone would have predicted he'd be ****ing **** and instead he is FC journeyman level.
 

nzfan

International Vice-Captain
I think the comparison is futile. Why does anyone has to be someone else, they do have their own distinct way of climbing to the top? I think it befits internet discussions but doesn't hold any value for a cricketer or a side. Personally I think he's a gun player, I know from experience opening batting in NZ against new cherry requires ticker, skills and ability.

Would you ask Devon Conway why he picked Ravindra and Sears as future black caps some three years ago? He's definitely not that clueless. Would you debate with Hesson, Kane and the then batting coach Macca why Ravindra was put in the NZ A ahead of first class?

If a player is a good enough to be a batsman and a bowler there's nothing wrong is there? It's a tough gig being an opener and a spinner in NZ conditions but I suppose it's upto him what he wants to do. It's his choice and no one else's.

I'm not going to draw any conclusion based on some early stats or couple of games or three for black caps. I go by my experience and my own eyes.

I'd rather encourage and stand by than slag off players way too early which I suppose is rampant these days.

If you can't see the apparent talent then I don't know what to say really. I guess his first tour to UAE he had stand out performance as a 17 or 18 year old. I suppose his first full series for black caps was a tremendous success as a bowler in T20. Granted those were spinning decks in Bangladesh but he was still the second best spinner behind Ajaz. Ajaz was like 32 and Ravindra was like 21.

Then the India series, he was better than a lot of seasoned players that had been to India many times and struggled. Still we had to rely on him to show the ticker to play out the last session with the tail on the last day vs modern great spinners to draw a test match under immense pleasure. An opener playing out spinners, that's not bad is it? I suppose he was our second best spinner in India too I guess. Somerville a seasoned campaigner found it hard in India.

All we need is solid players that can play for many years so that we can enjoy the good ride further. More the Kane's, Southee's, Boult's it's better. If it comes from Ravindra or Allen or anyone for that sake I wouldn't care. We obviously feel proud of anyone that's coming out of NZ/Wellington and can be world class. Do I see that in some players, 100%. Do I see that in Ravindra? 100%. He's not the only bright talent coming out of nz recently. Some haven't had a go at that level yet. I'm guessing in this time and age, players play till like 36-37. There's a lot of time for our upcoming talents to grow and become world class. Look forward to that.

He was not that good vs Bangladesh at home and he was cut from the squad right after rightly so Remember we had 11 players in the side and the rest couldn't do much either.

I'd rather the younger players see some ups and downs early in their career. Only helps them get better. I don't know of a single player that's been successful all the time. Only the good players take a lot of hits and carry on.I try to tell some local kids with good talent that can go on to become top class in future that but they all want instant results, lottery mentality sadly. A bit like fast food culture. The growth is actually in the grind which is lost of late in professional sports.

Everything improves, there will be players better than Kane, Guptill, Boult, Conway, Southee over the time if not all at once. We got extremely lucky the past decade. There's absolutely no doubt. The only way of that not happening is what sort of culture our domestic and international sides buy into. If there's malice, selfishness, not playing the right ways, looking for short cuts that's bound to bleed into the culture and the players. It'll eventually have ill effect from ground up to the top. Hopefully NZC goes about doing the right things and not look for those band aid fixes which may not last.
 

nzfan

International Vice-Captain
I think we truly lack spin coaches. I don't know if anyone in the set up other than perhaps Paul Wiseman helping the spinners occasionally.

Ravindra definitely hasn't done enough as a spinner in red ball cricket. Put aside the decks, opportunities etc but still if had to be picked for black caps as a spinner he needs to do more.

There are bunch of up coming spinners in the domestic circuit. Now is the time to engage a good full time spin bowling coach. Don't think Gary Stead can help really and neither can other current staff.

Maybe there's an opportunity for our up coming spinners to find their own way and spend some cash on their own if they're serious to go to sub continent and learn the art of spin bowling. Unless something of this sort is not done we will continue to be short found in spin department. There's a real opportunity for someone that can think outside the box and not rely on domestic or nzc help.
 

CharlesLara

U19 12th Man
I think the comparison is futile. Why does anyone has to be someone else, they do have their own distinct way of climbing to the top? I think it befits internet discussions but doesn't hold any value for a cricketer or a side. Personally I think he's a gun player, I know from experience opening batting in NZ against new cherry requires ticker, skills and ability.

Would you ask Devon Conway why he picked Ravindra and Sears as future black caps some three years ago? He's definitely not that clueless. Would you debate with Hesson, Kane and the then batting coach Macca why Ravindra was put in the NZ A ahead of first class?

If a player is a good enough to be a batsman and a bowler there's nothing wrong is there? It's a tough gig being an opener and a spinner in NZ conditions but I suppose it's upto him what he wants to do. It's his choice and no one else's.

I'm not going to draw any conclusion based on some early stats or couple of games or three for black caps. I go by my experience and my own eyes.

I'd rather encourage and stand by than slag off players way too early which I suppose is rampant these days.

If you can't see the apparent talent then I don't know what to say really. I guess his first tour to UAE he had stand out performance as a 17 or 18 year old. I suppose his first full series for black caps was a tremendous success as a bowler in T20. Granted those were spinning decks in Bangladesh but he was still the second best spinner behind Ajaz. Ajaz was like 32 and Ravindra was like 21.

Then the India series, he was better than a lot of seasoned players that had been to India many times and struggled. Still we had to rely on him to show the ticker to play out the last session with the tail on the last day vs modern great spinners to draw a test match under immense pleasure. An opener playing out spinners, that's not bad is it? I suppose he was our second best spinner in India too I guess. Somerville a seasoned campaigner found it hard in India.

All we need is solid players that can play for many years so that we can enjoy the good ride further. More the Kane's, Southee's, Boult's it's better. If it comes from Ravindra or Allen or anyone for that sake I wouldn't care. We obviously feel proud of anyone that's coming out of NZ/Wellington and can be world class. Do I see that in some players, 100%. Do I see that in Ravindra? 100%. He's not the only bright talent coming out of nz recently. Some haven't had a go at that level yet. I'm guessing in this time and age, players play till like 36-37. There's a lot of time for our upcoming talents to grow and become world class. Look forward to that.

He was not that good vs Bangladesh at home and he was cut from the squad right after rightly so Remember we had 11 players in the side and the rest couldn't do much either.

I'd rather the younger players see some ups and downs early in their career. Only helps them get better. I don't know of a single player that's been successful all the time. Only the good players take a lot of hits and carry on.I try to tell some local kids with good talent that can go on to become top class in future that but they all want instant results, lottery mentality sadly. A bit like fast food culture. The growth is actually in the grind which is lost of late in professional sports.

Everything improves, there will be players better than Kane, Guptill, Boult, Conway, Southee over the time if not all at once. We got extremely lucky the past decade. There's absolutely no doubt. The only way of that not happening is what sort of culture our domestic and international sides buy into. If there's malice, selfishness, not playing the right ways, looking for short cuts that's bound to bleed into the culture and the players. It'll eventually have ill effect from ground up to the top. Hopefully NZC goes about doing the right things and not look for those band aid fixes which may not last.
I'm not comparing him, you told us this.
Also not quite sure what the internet discussion comment means... in an internet discussion, but tbh it doesn't really matter :)

I think what Kippax (and I cant speak on behalf of him tbh) was getting at that very idea that because Ravindra has been earmarked so early I get theres a sense (not from Ravindra) "well its inevitable he gets in, a matter of when not if". Maybe I came across cynical, I'm far more optimistic than my post suggests.

You said its a tough gig being an opener AND a spinner in NZ, fully agree haha the idea that we are looking for someone to do both roles which require specialists is kinda what I'm getting at. Or bat him in the middle order in Plunket games for that experience etc if thats the role he's gonna play. I'd rather he be picked for a role he plays not be experimented with that role at the highest level.

We all rate him here, and time will tell if the way he's managed now will be the best move for them moving forward.

As far as spin coaches in NZ, I won't even start that. As long as the Test side sees spin as part time, so will the entire country perception of that role down to captains etc. The best captain I have had, funnily enough was a leg spinner himself. NZ just downright looks at spin, particularly leg spin and some some of wild exotic creature that cant be tamed, IE Ish. The only way to become a spinner and grow in this country is to be a slow left armer who bats a bit. Being a specialist slow left arm spinner with bags of first class wickets AT HOME, doesn't even cut it these days. We have now picked a keeper turned spinner cause he has shape on the ball and gives it a good rip......IE minimum freaking system install requirements for a spinner hahahhaa

I guess my main point was, it would be a shame for Ravindra to have too much responsibility too early, let alone the major responsibility being spin bowling, not even his main attribute.
 

ataraxia

International Captain
I think it's justifiable. Not that it's right, or wrong, but justifiable. T20 selection has understandably been based on form, and ODI selection may have moved that way in NZC's eyes. Macewell's a better bat than Neesham, and on recent form a better bowler.
 

Moss

International Regular
I think it's justifiable. Not that it's right, or wrong, but justifiable. T20 selection has understandably been based on form, and ODI selection may have moved that way in NZC's eyes. Macewell's a better bat than Neesham, and on recent form a better bowler.
From memory Neesham in T20s hasn't set the world on fire or anything but he's still been very good when coming down the order and smacking quick runs when needed (see: WT20 semifinal last year vs England); seems harsh when there's been very little white ball cricket happening. Admittedly NZ will likely get more out of Macewell's bowling, but seems a big call to make in the build up to two world cups over 2022-23.
 

Flem274*

123/5
Neither have really kicked in the door but Macewell does seem to be a project player.

It's a big call to back him ahead of Phillips, Chapman and Rachin. They got bored with McConchie quickly.
 

TheBrand

U19 Captain
Maybe I'm just a pessimist, but Macewell is the same age as Neesham and Neesham has tonnes more experience in white ball cricket around the world. I'm all for form selections but this just seems bizarre. Surely he had a decent Super Smash but is he really going to get games ahead of some of those other all-rounders? NZC up to it's weird old tricks. Harsh on Neesham given he's a starter for ODI's still but we've barely played any lately.
 

Fuller Pilch

Cricketer Of The Year
The crazy thing about Macewell is that he only got picked to play the Dutch bcos so many IPL players were away. Then he scored no runs but turned a couple and he's suddenly jumped up the queue. Very strange.
 

Kippax

Cricketer Of The Year
He did top the domestic T20 runs chart by over 100, remember, then people were singing his praises on this forum in the early Netherlands tour games.

After finding a way to squeeze Rachin into about six T20Is a year after he's been averaging a princely sum of about 14 with the bat in that format, I'm sure they can look for a bit of late bloom in Macewell.
 

SteveNZ

International Captain
I think we truly lack spin coaches. I don't know if anyone in the set up other than perhaps Paul Wiseman helping the spinners occasionally.
Dipak Patel is an incredibly good spin coach. Turned Ajaz into a Test 10-for taker from a club seamer. Worked with Ish throughout his formative years, and others. Just never got himself in with the 'establishment' at NZC, for which he can take a bit of partial responsibility for. Now coaches King's College 1st XI in Auckland. Bit of a waste of a guy with his coaching chops, but as above he's not blameless.
 

nzfan

International Vice-Captain
I'm not comparing him, you told us this.
Also not quite sure what the internet discussion comment means... in an internet discussion, but tbh it doesn't really matter :)

I think what Kippax (and I cant speak on behalf of him tbh) was getting at that very idea that because Ravindra has been earmarked so early I get theres a sense (not from Ravindra) "well its inevitable he gets in, a matter of when not if". Maybe I came across cynical, I'm far more optimistic than my post suggests.

You said its a tough gig being an opener AND a spinner in NZ, fully agree haha the idea that we are looking for someone to do both roles which require specialists is kinda what I'm getting at. Or bat him in the middle order in Plunket games for that experience etc if thats the role he's gonna play. I'd rather he be picked for a role he plays not be experimented with that role at the highest level.

We all rate him here, and time will tell if the way he's managed now will be the best move for them moving forward.

As far as spin coaches in NZ, I won't even start that. As long as the Test side sees spin as part time, so will the entire country perception of that role down to captains etc. The best captain I have had, funnily enough was a leg spinner himself. NZ just downright looks at spin, particularly leg spin and some some of wild exotic creature that cant be tamed, IE Ish. The only way to become a spinner and grow in this country is to be a slow left armer who bats a bit. Being a specialist slow left arm spinner with bags of first class wickets AT HOME, doesn't even cut it these days. We have now picked a keeper turned spinner cause he has shape on the ball and gives it a good rip......IE minimum freaking system install requirements for a spinner hahahhaa

I guess my main point was, it would be a shame for Ravindra to have too much responsibility too early, let alone the major responsibility being spin bowling, not even his main attribute.
Point taken... I hope I haven't compared players, that's dreadful if I did. It's an injustice to both the players. For the record, I can't necessarily say about any player if he will have better or worse numbers than someone. But the hope is always there, it's possible he may end up a legend. I'm optimistic of that, everything has to improve, it's a natural process. If not Ravindra someone else will, no doubt about that.

I suppose some cricketers do get ear marked not because they wanted it but I guess they are good enough to be ear marked I suppose. We're at the end of the day a small set up, we don't get stand out players in massive bunch like in done countries. I think the whole town that knew cricket ear marked Amelia Kerr, Sears, Ravindra and to a good extent Troy Johnson as future black caps with good success. It's a tough prediction and not good for up coming players but most seems to be right about these players at least so far.

I'm certain there will be young players that are unheard of right now but come to prominence as late bloomers and take over the world. Happens all the time.
 

SteveNZ

International Captain
In regards to the Rachin thing, he needs to be developed as an opening batsman for the best outcomes for our Test side. That's where he played at age group level - he is mentally accustomed, and somewhat technically, to open the batting. Trying to shoehorn him in at 6 because he bowls some passably decent off-spin is going to do nothing for us in the short and long term.

The only issue is, if he is going to keep wanting to be desirable as a short form cricketer (which is his right). I would like to see him get as much red ball cricket as he can get - that's for Wellington, NZ A, county cricket if possible etc - as an opener and continue to build his game technically and the ability to construct an innings. I haven't followed his career as tightly as others, but I seem to recall - like Latham - a solid enough technique and no issues in getting started, only to get out regularly after starts (borne out by 12 FC 50s and 3 hundred) - more so outside off stump for Ravindra (whilst Latham gets out in every manner under the sun, nothing consistently).
 

SteveNZ

International Captain
Jimmy Neesham set to be cut from Black Caps' national contract list | Stuff.co.nz

Michael Bracewell set to get a contract ahead of JimmyGS. What. The. ****.

I've been thinking for a while that the 20 man contract system is out of date in an era where NZ fields 3 wildly different XI's across the formats, but this is absurd.
Could be a good point on the last sentence. However, I wouldn't have a lot of sympathy for someone in Neesham's case - these guys who are T20 specialists and therefore miss out on contract ranking points, are supplementing their incomes more than capably in franchise T20 leagues, so there's no real issues there.

Jimmy still has a place in our best T20 XI because he's probably the best finisher we have. He probably justifies a place in the ODI side as well, although opportunities are obviously scarce. His bowling still needs to get better to solidify that - I'd still like him to make the death bowling role his own, because he does have the skills (good slower ball, angles it in and hits the hole well at times) but doesn't apply them nearly consistently enough.
 

SteveNZ

International Captain
There's no doubt, also, that Bracewell is very lucky to be where he is right now. But as someone said, he's clearly a project player - based a lot around the fact his bowling has come on a lot in the last couple of years (and isn't a mug with the bat). Smart guy by the looks, leadership material, maturity etc all play a role.
 

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