Friday, March 30, 2012

The Truth About South Africa and New Zealand

When an insect beats up a smaller insect, it doesn't stop it from being an insect. This is the unfortunate reality of New Zealand cricket, who were as bouncy and boisterous as ever after a historic victory over Australia and a mauling of the out-of-depth Zimbabweans.

And then came the big boys. These South Africans are not just one level higher but somewhere like two or three. How many teams are there that can leave out players like Graeme Smith and the great Jacques Kallis and not even feel the pinch? How many teams can unearth a guy who produced a record T20 innings, and then send him back on the next flight home? How many teams can boast a more complete pace battery than Philander, Steyn and Morkel?

The answer is certainly not New Zealand, who have been outclassed in a manner that is bordering on depressing. A cleverly formatted 3-3-3 series reads 2-3-1 in favour of South Africa, with New Zealand managing a single T20 victory and rain accounting for both test match draws. The lack of intent in the third test epitomized the tour, it was left up to a 21 year old kid to rescue them and a draw was celebrated like a victory. With less than a day to survive the so called big guns played it out like fish in a barrel not even bothering to flop.


The reversal was almost cruel, after bashing about the Zimbabweans, New Zealand became South Africa's Zimbabwe. The bowling attack consists entirely of journeymen itching to have a real strike bowler in their midst. McCullum and Taylor are ODI players in disguise while Martin Guptill is a poor man's Ian Bell, feasting himself on anything mediocre but grinding to a dead halt against true quality.

But how do you console a team who cannot even blame under-performance? Because the truth is that this is the best they have got. New Zealand more or less played to their peaks and finished up so far short that the visitors treated the tour like net practice after a Sunday roast.

Not so funny when its your turn is it? © AFP

South Africa will leave our shores after giving us Kiwis a firm examination of where and who we are, while they get ready for real opponents in England. We on the other hand can only weep quietly, rejoice over a false dawn with the last drawn match, or dig up old tapes of Richard Hadlee highlights to remember better times.

Related Reading:
The tragic story of Vettori
A history of New Zealand's woes against Australia


  1. You think South Africa are a level higher than Australia ... how dare you??

    Oh, wait. No, you're quite right. Carry on.

  2. agree with the every bit of said by you.