Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 4th day December 12, 2011

'We showed a lot of ticker today' - Taylor


New Zealand sides defeat Australia at rugby. Or netball. They don't beat Australia in Test cricket. And they definitely don't do it on Australian soil. At least, that was the way New Zealand were viewed until a quiet Monday afternoon in Hobart, when Doug Bracewell curled the ball through Australia's middle and lower order. A seven-run win ended 18 years of hidings and draws.

Before this day, New Zealand had only won in Australia when Richard Hadlee was at his peak. They hadn't even managed it in New Zealand since March 1993. To put that in perspective, Bracewell, Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and Trent Boult had not yet started school. The New Zealand captain who ended the drought, Ross Taylor, was eight years old.

"When did we win?" Taylor said after the Hobart victory. "Oh, 1993. Can I remember it? Vaguely. Not well."

A generation of young New Zealand players and fans now know what it's like to beat Australia. It can be done. And after Taylor's team stayed with Australia for two days in the first Test in Brisbane, only to lose their way as the match wore on, he had one simple message for his men. Show some ticker and never give up. As a result, Taylor has the enviable record of two wins from three Tests in charge.

"I'm not a very good speaker, as you can tell by now, but the only thing I try to instil in the players is fight and be proud in playing for your country," Taylor said. "We didn't show much fight in Brisbane but we showed a lot of guts and determination out there today. That was for the New Zealand public, an early Christmas present.

"[I have] over 50 text messages on my phone - I think that's pretty big. Rugby is our No.1 sport but any sport against Australia, winning in Australia, the New Zealand public enjoys. The New Zealand public knows that the New Zealand cricket team, when playing against Australia, is always the underdogs, but they don't like it when we don't show much fight. That's what we didn't do in Brisbane. We showed a lot of ticker today."

They needed it. On the second afternoon, when Taylor and Kane Williamson were batting with discipline, New Zealand deserved to be favourites. By the fourth morning, when David Warner was on his way to a century with a composed Usman Khawaja also in the middle, Australia were 119 runs from victory with nine wickets in hand.

"We believed in ourselves, that we could win this match," Taylor said. "We knew we had to fight. We knew we had to play a lot better than we did in Brisbane. We talked a lot about the way we bowled in Zimbabwe [during the Bulawayo Test] in the last session; about just fighting, taking our catches and bowling in the right areas, and we'll get reward. That's what happened."

Not that it was smooth sailing, even when Bracewell and Tim Southee started to torment the Australian batsmen with hooping swing. With 42 runs still required, Warner was joined by the No. 11, Nathan Lyon, and the pair nearly steered Australia home.

New Zealand thought they had won when Lyon was given out lbw but Australia's review indicated the ball had pitched outside the leg stump, even though the right-armer Southee was coming over the wicket. To the naked eye, it was hard to believe the Eagle-Eye verdict, as the ball appeared to strike Lyon in line. It nearly cost New Zealand the game.

"It's a G-rated programme isn't it?" Taylor said when asked about how he felt at the time of the reviews. "There were a lot of things going through my mind. There must be something wrong with my eyes. For me personally, some of them which I thought were not out were out and vice-versa. But at the end of the day, we won the match. The emotions going through? My goal was to show a calmness, but inside I was churning.

"They fought the whole way. We would have won by 40 runs out there against some teams. But the way Lyon and Warner played, I nearly had a heart attack. Warner was outstanding. To come in in only his second match and control the game the way he did … we'll be on the wrong side of a few hidings so I can't feel too sorry for him, but he deserves a lot of credit for the way he batted."

As it turned out, Warner was Man of the Match, ahead of the more deserving Bracewell. The award was voted for by the Australian public, watching the telecast. But it's the New Zealand public who will have the last laugh. For the first time in a generation, they can celebrate a Test victory over Australia.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roo on December 14, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    @Cric_purist... I understand your point :) ... But starting in the 90's doesn't reflect how bad or inexperienced some of our teams have been... Its how they fought & lost as much as it is about winning (Gallipoli - Oz & NZ only nations on earth that have a public holiday for a battle defeat...)... I don't mind losing, as long as it was fought hard to the finish in a competitive spirit... Allan Border is one of the most highly respected cricketers in this country today - not because he won many Tests (which he didn't) - but because he never gave up his wicket cheaply & fought to the last ball... Something many modern cricketers & fans do not understand...

  • Charles on December 13, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    @Android4, Keep looking mate, a little longer perhaps. Is it in the needlestack? The way the Aussies have folded to every team it would be a surprise if they win even a Test. India is certainly not as good as they used to be but against this Australian side? Keep dreaming bud. Like the way your experts keep harping on Tendulkar to quit and on the other hand the optimism of Pontingl bouncing back. Lucky there was no third Test or else another unwanted record would be on the agenda. Grow up, accept facts. No team will remain long on the perch long enough until another Murali comes to the fore. I am so glad that the Kiwis have won. I love the Kiwi's and especially Taylor. Way to go Douggie. You shouwed who the boss is. It does not matter but we know you deserved it a little more than Warner. In Australia and India they always favour the home side.

  • waseem on December 13, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    @zenboomerang.. I was refering to time period starting from 90s.. ..An OZ supporter from Pakistan.

  • Srivathsa on December 13, 2011, 15:29 GMT

    Bracewell should've been the MoM. 9 wickets for 60 runs in the match to win it for NZ is much better than scoring 138 runs for Australia in a losing cause. Shows neither Aussie public nor the Aussie cricket administrators are THAT cricket loving.

  • shahid on December 13, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    I'm not indian but its my assesment that india is gonna win 4-0

  • Randolph on December 13, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    I must admit, Chris Martin was the most impressive Kiwi. His angle - simply outstanding. Starc could learn from him.

  • Ryan on December 13, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    @Stadala: The only board in world cricket that has reservations is the BCCI. Unfortunately the BCCI is the ICC's biggest source of revenue giving them more pull-power when it comes to decisions like this because ICC doesn't want to upset BCCI.

  • Ryan on December 13, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    @Lord_Tendulkar: Low catches have nothing to do with DRS, they are reviewed regardless if DRS is implemented or not.

  • Tim on December 13, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    Congratulations to NZ. The injury of Vettori on the morning of the Test match must be seen as a blessing in disguise!

    I wish all Test matches were like this. This was a game where the bowlers dominated, but by seeing Brownlie (who is an exceptional batsman, I would say he was the most consistent in the series) score that 50 in the first innings and Warner scoring the 100, it proves that if you get yourself in, and you put the bad balls away, there are runs to be had.

    Both teams were exposed to the swinging ball, so no one can complain about it being tailored to the NZ conditions.

    Cricket was the winner!

  • Niral on December 13, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    So what do Cricketers Want ? They don't want biased umpires (like there are any on Elite Umpires List). They don't want DRS which eliminates bias. They just want to cry. They want GOD to officiate matches. Remember DRS came in because of Sydney 2008 and now India is opposing DRS because apparently some DRS decisions didn't go their way. How childish is that, they got Bucknor removed, they don't put any good Indian Umpires to officiate (who is there after VenkatRaghvan).

    Atleast Australia & England are behaving maturely. They know DRS is there to help. They don't go silly on criticizing minutes of DRS. They accept shortcomings and move one, more importantly are backing it so it has got chance to improve.

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