New Zealand bowlers '85% poor'
New Zealand's bowling coach Dimitri Mascarenhas has declared the visitors put in an even worse performance than they had managed in Brisbane, estimating that the WACA display had been "85% poor" as David Warner and Usman Khawaja ran roughshod over Brendon McCullum's team.
"Doesn't get much tougher than that does it," Mascarenhas said. "For 85% of the time we were pretty poor. There are some positive signs, Doug Bracewell bowled well when he hit an area and tried to create some pressure, but the wicket's pretty good at the moment, good toss to win, and Warner was pretty spectacular.
"There were two factors today, Warner was exceptional and I don't think we bowled as well today as we did at the Gabba. From our point of view we just need to better execute the plans we've talked about. If you look at it, we got hit both sides of the wicket for a lot of the game, and when we did actually string some dots together we created some chances. So it's a matter of taking that, doing that a bit more often."
The generally poor performance of New Zealand's bowling attack has been a surprise to many. Trent Boult and Mark Craig have gone for more than five runs an over, while Doug Bracewell and the ginger Tim Southee - in doubt ahead of this game due to a back complaint - have been scarcely less expensive. Matt Henry provided a brief injection of pace and energy into the attack, but his one wicket was scant reward.
"I can't put my finger on it at the moment, the boys have had enough bowling, not as if they haven't bowled enough," Mascarenhas said, denying the visitors were still underdone. "They're just not executing at the standard we'd like at the moment for Test cricket, on some very good batting wickets against some very good players. You've got to be on the money from ball one against these players.
"You look at Warner, his first two balls went four, four, so if you stray a little bit you're going to get hurt, and we are getting hurt when we do miss. Especially Warner, he sees the ball and hits the ball, and when Trent's missed a couple of times early, he has paid the price for it."
New Zealand were not helped by a WACA surface that lacked pace and bounce relative to earlier incarnations of the wicket, and it was notable when early edges from Joe Burns and Warner filed to carry to the slips cordon.
However Mascarenhas said that in contrast to the words of the curator Matthew Page, the tourists had expected a flat and unforgiving strip based on recent results at the ground. This is to say that in reference to both the WACA and Warner, New Zealand knew what was coming but could do nothing about it.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig