Sunday, February 27, 2011

World Cup 2011 - New Zealand vs Australia Verdict

It has become a familiar story really, an utterly dismal batting performance from the Black Caps against their trans-tasman rivals. While Australia bowled well, they weren't a menace, the chief destroyer for the kiwis was simply the usual, totally inept batting.

Lets recap the top orders efforts shall we:

McCullum (16 runs off 19 balls)
Determined to top edge his way to victory over third man, he eventually and inevitably holed out in the deep.
Dumb Factor = 8/10

Guptill (10 off 25)
Scratched around for 19 deliveries before getting off the mark. Fell to a Watson delivery that kept strangely low, probably the only one who could claim to be unlucky.
Dumb Factor = 5/10

Ryder (25 off 31)
Singles are overrated for Ryder, 24 of those runs were boundaries. He faced a ridiculous 19 consecutive deliveries off Johnson before finally edging to the slips.
Dumb Factor = 8/10

Franklin (0 off 3)
For a man who I rated for having technique and temperament, he showed neither. A lazy waft outside the off stump that was totally uncalled for.
Dumb Factor = 8/10

Styris (0 off 4)
Following the trend, Mr Experience then decided to try to cream a wide delivery through the covers in a blaze of glory. Ugly and untimely.
Dumb Factor = 8/10

Taylor (7 off 22)
After looking totally out of sorts, decided he would try to Viv Richards a full ball by whipping it through the leg side.
Dumb Factor = 9/10

Dear Mr Taylor, Viv Richards you are not. © Getty Images

How (22 off 47)
Batting at number 7 (?) How only managed to stick around before completely missing a dead straight Smith delivery. Just to be sure of his impact on the match, he also wasted a referral. On what basis was he selected again?
Dumb Factor = 7/10

And so after the carnage they stood at 7-121, before the typically feisty Nathan McCullum battled away, coupled with the standard Vettori Innings In Vain. The eventual total of 206 of course nowhere near enough.

Should we be surprised? There is something about New Zealand and Australia in the last decade or so, in the big events, where we just tend to capitulate. It often happens after talking ourselves up too. So as an added bonus, lets take a small trip down memory lane and see what I am talking about here:

The Hall of Shame
ICC Champions Trophy 2002 - 4th match, Pool 1
Chasing 296, New Zealand barely even got going as McGrath and friends ran havoc through the entire order. All out for 132 with no lower order rearguard to save face either.
ICC World Cup 2003 - 47th match, Super Sixes
After Bond set up the match perfectly by reducing Australia to 7-84, his useless bowling support ensured that Australia managed a still chase-able 208. Too bad that only Fleming showed the stomach for it, with the rest of his buddies contributing 55, that's ten batsmen. They ended up all out for 112.
ICC Champions Trophy 2004 - 9th match, Pool A
Nathan Astle actually started things off brightly by picking off a few boundaries. Nothing bright about what followed however as the middle order fell apart to leave them at 7-89, including a ridiculous run out where Harris sold McMillan down the river without a paddle or a canoe. Some lower order spunk took them to a losing score of 198.
ICC Champions Trophy 2006 - 1st semi final
On the back of some strong batting by Stephen Fleming, the kiwi's made the semi's of this edition of the champions trophy looking a good chance. Chasing a lowly 240, the top-middle order had the usual game plan, reducing us to 6-35. I still remember that awful heave McCullum hit straight to mid-on. A determined, almost tragic 79 from Vettori got them to a face saving 206.
ICC World Cup 2007 - 47th match, Super Eights
To be fair, chasing 348 is a big ask. But at least make something resembling an effort. All out for 133 in under 26 overs is not on for a team that boasted a 3-0 victory over the same opponents before the world cup. 

So in 2011, we continue in our determination to follow the trend set by our black caps gone by over the years. Long may it continue.

© Reuters


  1. Yeah, stupid batting all around, though I was surprised about Styris, he usually doesn't sell his wicket so easily. Taylor would be so much better if he just played straight. The top four seem to have real difficulty with the art of taking singles...a pity considering guys like Fleming, Roger Twose, Astle and Harris were probably less naturally talented than this bunch, but far smarter in their approach.

    Some really scarring moments in the hall of shame, would probably add the 2009 Champions Trophy final though it wasn't anywhere near as damaging as the ones you listed..

  2. Yeah its strange isn't it? Something about facing Australia in the big matches seems to turn us into headless chooks.

    I thought about the 2009 match, but the untimely injury of Vettori had a lot to do with that. It was more to do with simply being outclassed rather than poor batting.

  3. Good post Varun !!

    Nice new factor of dumbness you have added. ;)