India v New Zealand
I think the Kiwis had been lucky to receive half of the points from the washout against the Lankans, otherwise the humiliation would have been even worse. After their thumping win over India in the first encounter you would have expected NZ to pull the pants into the right position and go in with a bit more confidence. But losing the toss to a side that mainly consists of a determined Sehwag is always a blow to the morale, yet the Kiwis bowled their arses off and Timmy with 4-49, a superb Nathan McCullum with 3-35 and the two obligatory Mills kills rocked the Indian line-up, with the tiny flaw of Sehwag making bloody 110. Doom over the world, that was too much.
In my naive head I actually thought for some idiotic reason the total would be chaseable, until someone wrote something like "brittle batting line-up... Dambulla...". That felt like hammer on head. I seriously had totally forgotten about that, and all you could do in the end was watch the Sheepies go down. "Go" is the wrong word, they literally raced back into the hutch. Not sure why exactly the departure of an anti-hero like Martin Guptill triggers a collapse, because at the moment I am seriously reassessing my Seventoes campaign; it really took him a lot of time and hard labour to get me off his bandwagon (and I am still on it with half a foot for the mere reason of being physically unable to stop believing in him) but Martin G really is really doing his best to get axed. In fact it's a miracle he's still around. The rest of the batting line-up simply disgraced themselves in such an unspeakable manner that I don't want to talk about any of them, except for...
Kyle Mills is such a pleasure to watch, I can't throw my hands to the sky often enough and thank the lord for making him whole again haha. Oh man! His return demonstrates impressively how the Kiwis lacked edge during his absence. If Kiwistan had just one or two more of his kind they could hunt down the enemy like a horde of rampaging ogers. Go Millsy roll 'em!
|Timmy Time: 4-49 | Mills: 2-42, 52 off 35 (7x4, 3x6) (c) Cameraworx/Live Images, AFP|
Well well. Ross Taylor's string of successes has unfortunately got torn, but the problem lies a lot deeper. Kiwis can bowl, nobody would doubt that. But last night I caught myself thinking: What if they employed more Kolpak-sort-of batsmen, simply to get their international campaign up a level? Not saying that Grant Elliot is the next Sachin, but if you look around in county cricket for instance it makes you cry to see how many awesome Saffas are around who will never get the chance to play for a national side. What works for England could work for NZ as well, especially as unlike England NZ can obviously not produce the required batting depth on their own (while England have only just started bothering again). Out of the top of my head I cannot name a single awesome Kiwi batter, except for Ross that is, but even he has a steep learning curve to master. Thus nobody (I hope) would ever sledge the Kiwis as much as the English for any foreign players in the line-up, simply because everybody knows how much effort that little country puts in their cricket, especially if you consider that cricket is not their main concern in terms of sports. But the gap between domestic and international cricket is just so wide that the vast majority of attempts to lift the batting fails tragically. I know that a greater amount of legionaries in the side would maybe diminish the incentive for native Kiwis to aim at playing professional cricket, so maybe that's a shot in one's own knee then.
There have been suggestions around that NZ or NZ domestic teams should take part in the Australian domestic tournaments and I am highly in favour of that, alas it is not doable, although from an Australian perspective I would imagine it as utterly tempting, it would increase the attractiveness of the Shield matches enormously, if a some sort of New Zealand A team could join. Another possibility would be to somehow try and stuff more players into county clubs or allow for them in the Oz state teams. Not sure though if the Aussie clubs would make use of that offer. I am really out of ideas on how to solve the dilemma...
This was probably just a whole lot of tripe but imho NZ are that one minnowish side who really deserve to do better, they are such good bowlers and fielders and they need to find a way to expose themselves to top class cricket more often and become more competitive.
If you want a proper Kiwi blog by someone who is not a walking conniption fit, check this out: