July 20, 2012

Desperately seeking a facelift

New Zealand have been a tough outfit in the past, but their recent stats in both Tests and ODIs are alarmingly dismal
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In the 1980s, New Zealand were a real force in international cricket. Apart from their two obvious stars, Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe, they had several others who all contributed handily: John Wright, Jeremy Coney, Ewen Chatfield, and Ian Smith, to name a few. The phrase commonly used to describe them was "punching above their weight", because they did exactly that: in the 1980s they were highly competitive in both forms of the game. Between 1980 and 1990, their win-loss ratio in Tests against the top sides - excluding Sri Lanka, who were finding their feet for much of that period - was 0.78 (15 wins, 19 losses). England and India had much worse ratios during that period. Even in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with such stalwarts as Stephen Fleming, Chris Cairns and Mark Richardson, New Zealand came up with reasonably impressive results.

In the last few years, though, their stats have nosedived in both Tests and ODIs. At the beginning of 2006 they beat West Indies 2-0 in a three-match series, which was probably their last emphatic result against one of the top eight sides in Test cricket. Since then, out of ten Test wins, six have been against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Against the better sides, their results have been dismal: four wins in 37 Tests, one each against Pakistan, England, Sri Lanka and Australia.

However, it's as an ODI team that they've taken an even bigger beating, reflected most recently in their 4-1 thrashing in the West Indies (and before that, in the 3-0 defeat at home against South Africa, which means their 2012 record is 1-7). For long, New Zealand have been recognised as a team whose whole is greater than the sum of their parts, but even that doesn't seem to ring true any more.

Their ODI decline has been more recent, though: they had a pretty good 2009, and then beat Bangladesh 3-0 early in 2010. Since then, they've been in freefall, winning eight of 37 matches against the better sides (excluding Zimbabwe and the non-Test-playing sides). Their win-loss ratio of 0.29 is the poorest among these nine teams, worse even than Bangladesh, who have a ratio of 0.45. In the four years preceding that (from January 2006 to February 2010), New Zealand did far better, winning 44 out of 85 ODIs against these eight sides, and achieving a win-loss ratio of 1.33. Only three teams - Australia, India and South Africa - had a better ratio during this period.

Test record for teams since Apr 2006 (Excluding Tests v Bangladesh and Zimbabwe)
Team Tests W/L Ratio Bat ave Bowl ave 100s/ 50s
Australia 62 35/ 16 2.18 38.62 31.52 76/ 169
South Africa 53 26/ 15 1.73 38.72 30.93 67/ 126
England 74 31/ 21 1.47 37.27 32.85 90/ 167
India 62 22/ 18 1.22 37.30 37.70 70/ 184
Sri Lanka 51 16/ 16 1.00 36.25 37.76 62/ 113
Pakistan 48 13/ 19 0.68 31.43 34.49 35/ 117
New Zealand 37 4/ 21 0.19 27.50 37.60 23/ 81
West Indies 51 4/ 25 0.16 30.04 41.44 41/ 115
ODI teams since March 2010*
Team Matches W/L Ratio Bat ave/ Run rate Bowl ave. Econ rate
South Africa 31 21/ 10 2.10 36.52/ 5.35 25.57/ 4.95
India 60 36/ 20 1.80 35.36/ 5.47 31.18/ 5.29
England 52 29/ 20 1.45 33.98/ 5.34 31.31/ 5.20
Australia 56 29/ 25 1.16 33.11/ 5.22 29.31/ 5.06
Pakistan 50 25/ 23 1.08 27.87/ 4.94 30.95/ 4.91
Sri Lanka 62 29/ 28 1.03 30.81/ 5.00 31.10/ 5.08
West Indies 43 14/ 27 0.51 27.93/ 4.89 31.65/ 5.03
Bangladesh 29 9/ 20 0.45 25.89/ 4.64 35.44/ 5.43
New Zealand 37 8/ 27 0.29 25.05/ 4.94 32.68/ 5.14
* In ODIs against all teams excluding Zimbabwe and the non-Test-playing teams

In both Tests and ODIs it's clear that their batting has been the bigger problem than the bowling. In Tests, New Zealand have averaged 37.60 runs per wicket with the ball in the last six years, which is much below Australia and South Africa, but as good as India and Sri Lanka. Their batsmen, though, have averaged 27.50 runs per wicket, easily the worst among the teams in that table. Similarly, in ODIs their batting average is the worst among all sides (marginally lower than Bangladesh), while the bowling stats aren't much poorer than those of most sides in the list.

One of the problems for New Zealand's batsmen has been converting their starts into substantial scores. In Tests, their fifties-to-hundreds ratio is 3.5, while for the top teams it's around 2 or lower. In ODIs, they've only managed four hundreds in 37 matches - a rate of one every nine games - while the best teams have scored one every five games or fewer.

In the 1980s, on the other hand, New Zealand had a far more solid batting line-up. They averaged only 30.03, but that was in an era in which run-scoring was tougher, and none of the teams averaged more than 35. Batsmen like Martin Crowe and Wright ensured that the conversion rate was far better too, with a fifties-to-hundreds ratio of 2.37.

Test record for teams between Jan 1980 and Dec 1990 (Excluding Tests v Sri Lanka)
Team Tests W/L Ratio Bat ave Bowl ave 100s/ 50s
West Indies 89 46/ 10 4.60 34.23 25.95 81/ 178
Pakistan 80 22/ 14 1.57 34.68 31.28 68/ 154
Australia 99 27/ 32 0.84 33.25 33.44 88/ 201
New Zealand 63 15/ 19 0.78 30.03 32.37 46/ 109
England 113 21/ 43 0.48 30.51 36.10 92/ 230
India 80 9/ 22 0.40 34.65 39.20 68/ 174

New Zealand's three best batsmen during that period were Crowe, Wright and Coney, and they all averaged more than 38 against the top teams during the 1980s. The conversion rates were excellent for Crowe and Wright, but Coney suffered in that regard because he batted down the order, mostly at No. 6.

New Zealand's three best batsmen in Tests between Jan 1980 and Dec 1990 (Excl Tests v SL)
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
John Wright 58 3814 38.91 10/ 15
Martin Crowe 50 3503 46.70 12/ 13
Jeremy Coney 40 2030 38.30 3/ 12

Contrast those three names with the ones below, who are the leading run scorers for New Zealand in Tests against the top sides in the last six years. Two of them aren't even specialist batsmen, which is a damning indictment of those who've played in the top six - Ross Taylor is the only one among them with reasonable stats. Jesse Ryder has done pretty well too - 1100 runs at 39.28 against these teams - but then he has other problems to contend with. One of the major disappointments has been Martin Guptill, who averages 24 in 19 Tests.

New Zealand's three best batsmen against the top teams* in Tests since Apr 2006
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Ross Taylor 32 2337 41.73 5/ 12
Brendon McCullum 37 2302 34.87 3/ 14
Daniel Vettori 36 2131 36.74 4/ 11
* Excluding Tests against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe

In ODIs too, New Zealand's top run scorers have pretty dismal numbers, with three of their top five run-getters averaging less than 30. Kane Williamson has shown plenty of promise in his brief international career so far, but his ODI stats are still pretty ordinary - an average of 28 at a strike rate of less than 70.

New Zealand's best ODI batsmen v top teams since March 2010
Batsman ODIs Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
Ross Taylor 30 1039 41.56 76.96 2/ 6
Martin Guptill 32 735 24.50 70.80 0/ 5
Scott Styris 25 705 35.25 81.31 0/ 5
Brendon McCullum 28 650 25.00 91.29 0/ 4
Kane Williamson 22 571 28.55 67.41 1/ 3

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rolfardeo on July 22, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    The thing that stands out like a beacon for me in this article is the appallingly low number of tests played by New Zealand as opposed to the rest of the teams listed in the table listing test records since 2006. It is little wonder that out stats are far worse . . . we play so infrequently that it seem we forget how to play (with the odd exception - i.e. Ross Taylor and Dan Vettori). I think that this is the strongest reason for New Zealand's decline - how can they get better with out consistent play? I am certain that if NZ address this lack of Test match play they will improve and I think this would also have a positive flow on into their ODI cricket. We seem to have a few more tests scheduled this year than we have had in recent times, even if too many of them are only two test series. Let's hope that this is the beginning of addressing the problem and we can see some improvement in New Zealand's results.

  • on July 21, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Think they should persuade India to play more often there and a longer series, especially Tests, perhaps. The TALENT will follow the money.

  • bored_iam on July 21, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    NZ has given cricket so much these past few years... Cricket really needs to give back. Its sad really because they've always had some good players: Hadlee, Wright, Cairns, Harris, Fleming, Vincent, McMillan, Taylor...But the ICL really hit them hard! Bowlers of the calibre of Bond/Hadlee should be approched to get coaching their guys and Fleming as batting coach-cum-think-tank could do wonders! And yes; they need more Tests!! Theyve played HALF as many as Eng! Its crazy really!

  • Nige_C on July 21, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    Hamish makes an excellent point, we have played between 11-37 less tests than anyone else since 2006! This is literally 1-3 years less experience over that time (with English players having had twice as many tests in the same period). Consistent experience is a key factor on which to develop consistent performance. NZs erratic test schedule leads to erratic performances. Given NZ lack of presence on the cricket landscape there is no answer and longer term this could lead to the eventual demise of NZ cricket into a 2nd tier nation such as Kenya or Ireland. I don't imagine too many outside of NZ would really care if this actually did occur, hence I do not see any solution. It would take someone like an India or England to actually decide that this situation is not good for the future of cricket and be prepared to make the sacrifices needed to make it happen. I think there would be more chance of Elvis making a come back. It is the rich getting richer and the rest suriviving on scraps.

  • Min2000 on July 21, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Getting a couple of teams into the Aussie domestic comp would do wonders for NZL -- the learning curve would be very steep but our young batsmen need more exposure to quality bowling. The problem with Guptill is that he's not an opener. He's been forced to open because NZL cant seem to produce any top order players. McCullum needs to keep wickets and bat down the order at 5 or 6... he's screwed up the balance of the team. On the positive side there is still some quality there -- Taylor, Ryder, Williamson, Brownlie... these guys can all play.

  • Frank_Rizzo on July 21, 2012, 3:09 GMT

    sangan3: Your idea of a trans-tasman dosmetic league similar to the NRL and NBL is exactly the only solution that will help NZ cricket. We have the likes of Peter Ingram and Mathew Sinclair who are domestic superstars being found out badly on the international stage. It's painful seeing all the hype from our media regarding these first-class players only to see their stumps cart-wheeling after Umar Gul, Dale Steyn and co yorkers. Exposure is needed earlier due to our small population and having one or two teams to battle the aussies would be a great solution. Also, our senior players have to cut out their arrogant attitude, they haven't earnt it lol

  • on July 21, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    Pretty sad thing to see from a New Zealand point of view. Unfortunately I can't even begin to imagine who will possibly save us in the batting department. Guptill has the potential to be so much better. It's the same old thing though, our players never realise this 'potential'.

    Unfortunately, we make matters worse by handing caps to players who should never even be in the team. No disrespect meant, but Rob Nicoll is fine to play T20 but come ODI's he should be batting down the order since he is an All Rounder, and should never have played Tests. Andrew Ellis - no.

    We need Ryder back. Williamson needs time, and some of our young fast bowlers need to come through. Then - NZ might get back to those good days.

  • Mikeythorn on July 21, 2012, 1:07 GMT

    The problem is the lack of games, and the timing of those few games NZ plays. There are very few home games, and none at all at the peak of summer. Which means that public interest - and therefore participation by kids - has nosedived. Such few games also means those who do play at the highest level don't get a chance to settle in and improve. Sadly, given the state of the international calendar and the lack of priority afforded New Zealand, I can't see a way back from the brink.

  • on July 21, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    What you've said is all true, and part of the problem is that in the last six years, NZ have only played 37 Tests. Every one else has played more than 50 (except Pakistan who've played 48) - and England have played 74! We'll never be world beaters in the Test arena, but we could at least be competitive if we played more regularly, and in longer series (none of this two match stuff). We can't get better at playing test matches if we don't get to play enough of them to begin with. I thought the FTP was supposed to help level the playing field?

  • Meety on July 21, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    @Flighted_kiwi - one annoying thing for kiwi fans, is that there is currently a talented young batsmen/spinner playing County cricket in England, he is born & bred NZlder, but he is trying to qualify for the Poms, can't remember his name (I think he recently either played for the Lions or some other England XI), but he is at least at Williamson standard. @khanc - IMO - there have been 3 truely great captains in my lifetime (in no particlular order), they were Imran, Tubby Taylor & Fleming. I reckon I'll add Pup Clarke to that group in the not too distant future.

  • Rolfardeo on July 22, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    The thing that stands out like a beacon for me in this article is the appallingly low number of tests played by New Zealand as opposed to the rest of the teams listed in the table listing test records since 2006. It is little wonder that out stats are far worse . . . we play so infrequently that it seem we forget how to play (with the odd exception - i.e. Ross Taylor and Dan Vettori). I think that this is the strongest reason for New Zealand's decline - how can they get better with out consistent play? I am certain that if NZ address this lack of Test match play they will improve and I think this would also have a positive flow on into their ODI cricket. We seem to have a few more tests scheduled this year than we have had in recent times, even if too many of them are only two test series. Let's hope that this is the beginning of addressing the problem and we can see some improvement in New Zealand's results.

  • on July 21, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Think they should persuade India to play more often there and a longer series, especially Tests, perhaps. The TALENT will follow the money.

  • bored_iam on July 21, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    NZ has given cricket so much these past few years... Cricket really needs to give back. Its sad really because they've always had some good players: Hadlee, Wright, Cairns, Harris, Fleming, Vincent, McMillan, Taylor...But the ICL really hit them hard! Bowlers of the calibre of Bond/Hadlee should be approched to get coaching their guys and Fleming as batting coach-cum-think-tank could do wonders! And yes; they need more Tests!! Theyve played HALF as many as Eng! Its crazy really!

  • Nige_C on July 21, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    Hamish makes an excellent point, we have played between 11-37 less tests than anyone else since 2006! This is literally 1-3 years less experience over that time (with English players having had twice as many tests in the same period). Consistent experience is a key factor on which to develop consistent performance. NZs erratic test schedule leads to erratic performances. Given NZ lack of presence on the cricket landscape there is no answer and longer term this could lead to the eventual demise of NZ cricket into a 2nd tier nation such as Kenya or Ireland. I don't imagine too many outside of NZ would really care if this actually did occur, hence I do not see any solution. It would take someone like an India or England to actually decide that this situation is not good for the future of cricket and be prepared to make the sacrifices needed to make it happen. I think there would be more chance of Elvis making a come back. It is the rich getting richer and the rest suriviving on scraps.

  • Min2000 on July 21, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Getting a couple of teams into the Aussie domestic comp would do wonders for NZL -- the learning curve would be very steep but our young batsmen need more exposure to quality bowling. The problem with Guptill is that he's not an opener. He's been forced to open because NZL cant seem to produce any top order players. McCullum needs to keep wickets and bat down the order at 5 or 6... he's screwed up the balance of the team. On the positive side there is still some quality there -- Taylor, Ryder, Williamson, Brownlie... these guys can all play.

  • Frank_Rizzo on July 21, 2012, 3:09 GMT

    sangan3: Your idea of a trans-tasman dosmetic league similar to the NRL and NBL is exactly the only solution that will help NZ cricket. We have the likes of Peter Ingram and Mathew Sinclair who are domestic superstars being found out badly on the international stage. It's painful seeing all the hype from our media regarding these first-class players only to see their stumps cart-wheeling after Umar Gul, Dale Steyn and co yorkers. Exposure is needed earlier due to our small population and having one or two teams to battle the aussies would be a great solution. Also, our senior players have to cut out their arrogant attitude, they haven't earnt it lol

  • on July 21, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    Pretty sad thing to see from a New Zealand point of view. Unfortunately I can't even begin to imagine who will possibly save us in the batting department. Guptill has the potential to be so much better. It's the same old thing though, our players never realise this 'potential'.

    Unfortunately, we make matters worse by handing caps to players who should never even be in the team. No disrespect meant, but Rob Nicoll is fine to play T20 but come ODI's he should be batting down the order since he is an All Rounder, and should never have played Tests. Andrew Ellis - no.

    We need Ryder back. Williamson needs time, and some of our young fast bowlers need to come through. Then - NZ might get back to those good days.

  • Mikeythorn on July 21, 2012, 1:07 GMT

    The problem is the lack of games, and the timing of those few games NZ plays. There are very few home games, and none at all at the peak of summer. Which means that public interest - and therefore participation by kids - has nosedived. Such few games also means those who do play at the highest level don't get a chance to settle in and improve. Sadly, given the state of the international calendar and the lack of priority afforded New Zealand, I can't see a way back from the brink.

  • on July 21, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    What you've said is all true, and part of the problem is that in the last six years, NZ have only played 37 Tests. Every one else has played more than 50 (except Pakistan who've played 48) - and England have played 74! We'll never be world beaters in the Test arena, but we could at least be competitive if we played more regularly, and in longer series (none of this two match stuff). We can't get better at playing test matches if we don't get to play enough of them to begin with. I thought the FTP was supposed to help level the playing field?

  • Meety on July 21, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    @Flighted_kiwi - one annoying thing for kiwi fans, is that there is currently a talented young batsmen/spinner playing County cricket in England, he is born & bred NZlder, but he is trying to qualify for the Poms, can't remember his name (I think he recently either played for the Lions or some other England XI), but he is at least at Williamson standard. @khanc - IMO - there have been 3 truely great captains in my lifetime (in no particlular order), they were Imran, Tubby Taylor & Fleming. I reckon I'll add Pup Clarke to that group in the not too distant future.

  • Meety on July 20, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    @beejaytee - fair call. Where I was coming from is, IF McCullum kept wicket & batted @ #7, the batting line up has some depth, & whilst Vettori has batted well over the last 5 yrs, I think he is batting above his ability & he should be a specialist bowler who can sometimes dig NZ out of a hole when batting. NZ can always do some recruiting in Oz & Saffaland! @sangan3 - I'm not a fan of NZ sides in Oz Shield, as the cornerstone of Oz success is Test-like contests & concentration of talent. I do believe we need to help our little cuzzy bro's from across the dutch though, so I would suggest they send teams to play in our Future's League, which is the step below Shield. I am talking about NZ development or youthful players, with the odd top class player either returning from injury or needs some experience/practise.

  • Proud_GhorJamai on July 20, 2012, 19:47 GMT

    Sad to see NZ is such a terrible shape..coz at the times of Chris Caiirns..Vettori..Fleming...they were really exciting to watch....

  • marlboro19 on July 20, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    As an Indian supporter NZ has always been my second fav team . They have the character , fierceness , and temperament. It's always heart-baking to see them loose, probably because they lack a couple of test batsman who can maintain an average of about fifty. I wonder if the perquisite for a great batsman ( good hand-eye coordination , excellent reflexes , sturdy foot-work) are also the ones that make a good rugby player? I would think the potential fast bowlers are more likely to be poached by the Rugby. Anyway the best cricketing moment of past two years(after the WC win for India) for me is still NZ beating Australia in the last test to give an apt riposte to the auzzie media and fans who were being rather dismissive of NZ. Go black caps!

  • ribllh on July 20, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    Playing so few test matches does not help either - nearly one third less tests than the next lowest team and only half the number of tests played by England

  • gmoturu1 on July 20, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    no matter how bad they are performing i always have a huge respect for the KIWIS and love the West Indies. I love to hate Australia. :)

  • 512fm on July 20, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    Its only going to get worse, as a blackcaps fan there is absolutely no one coming through and the appointment of Hesson (who is best mates with all the players) is a disaster. All I can hope is we can slowly rid ourselves of Oram, Mills, McCullum etc. and start properly fresh under Taylor.

  • ejsiddiqui on July 20, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Can Bond be brought back? He was a real quality bowler produced by NZ. The cricket team should learn something from All Blacks.

  • khanc on July 20, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    NZ's problem is that Fleming and Vettori were two of the best captains of all time. Ross Taylor is not in that league. The talent was never really there, apart from the odd Hadlee or Martin Crowe or Shane Bond, but the acumen and team spirit and fight were there, and in loads. The other side of the coin is that the rest of the cricketing world has caught up to NZ in terms of discipline and 'teamliness' for lack of a better word. It will be interesting to see if they can claw back, and how.

  • TheGrandMaster on July 20, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    I'v said this many times locally...but though the stats show the NZ batsman as the big weakness, I really think it comes down to the bowling talent. Imagine you are a young NZ batsman...who are you facing in domestic cricket or nets practice before a big test. It is definitely not the quality of the SA or English bowling attacks. So is it any wonder they struggle when they do stroll out to the pitches? Now lets think about Crowe and Wright, getting to face Hadlee every time they had a practice session. Is it any wonder they were world class batsman?

  • AdrianVanDenStael on July 20, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    I remember Martin Crowe suggesting (and being applauded for suggesting) a few years ago that Bangladesh were not worthy of test status. I wonder what he makes of this evidence that in fact New Zealand have in some significant respects being doing worse than Bangladesh in recent times.

  • HawK89 on July 20, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    Playing T20 has ruined them. They forgot how to hold a bat now, playing half hearted shots, too many opening the face of the bat to score down 3rd man, playing around the pads from off stump, don't know how to play short balls, don't know how or when to block or pace an innings. It's schoolboy really... what they need is the MasterClass DVD of Michael Vaughan, that's how horrid they now become.

  • on July 20, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    I agree with Mob_King re inept management, there have been numerous examples of this over the years. I still can't understand why Andre Adams has only played 1 Test Match. Also, the likes of the ECB don't help matters by scheduling back-to-back series for Eng-NZ. NZ only ever seem to play in the West Indies once in a blue moon, surely they deserve more variety than what they have been given over the last few years?!

  • Flighted_kiwi on July 20, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    There were several things that marked out the 80s side that seem to have been missing since. One was the professionalism of the individuals. Several were regulars of the English county scene & the likes of Turner & Hadlee were true professionals who believed in individual responsibility & preparation. There was a strong team culture resulting in them "punching above their weight". Sure they had their spats but they generally played as a team. The rise of player power, individual rooming, picking when you play etc seems to have diminished that. The tours were better prepared with adequate warmup matches. Overall the players seemed to be more settled with better temperament & technique. Since then we've batted poorly against spin, been poor at taking singles & turning over the strike & often not had patience & discipline with batting or bowling & no coach has seemed to be able to effectively change those habits. Unless the players take responsibility a new coach will make no difference.

  • Flighted_kiwi on July 20, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    Its worth looking at what made the NZ team of the 80s different to later teams. Firstly they had 2 stubborn openers who generally saw off the new ball. Arguably we've only had 2 quality openers do a similar job since then - Bryan Young & Richardson. (Since 1989 NZ have only won 19 tests without one of Wright, Young or Richardson as an opener & 12 of those have been against Zimbabwe, B'desh & WI). Next was a generally solid middle order that had a world class batsman in Martin Crowe & others who could graft or attack when needed. John Reid & Martin Crowe were also adept at playing spin. Coney, Reid, Crowe & Crowe all scored centuries against strong English, Australian & WI teams. In Ian Smith they had an excellent wicketkeeper who was also a good batsman. With Hadlee they had a great fast bowler ably supported by accurate bowlers like Chatfield who were also wicket-takers. Add in two aggressive, attacking spinners (Boock & Bracewell) and that side had better balance than those since.

  • Aleckto on July 20, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    @woodhaven24 - proper due...are you kidding this article has nothing to do with BD. BD supporters seem to be the best at blowing there own horns. not to mention in the same year NZ whitewashed BD at home and beat them in the only test. this was all 2 years ago....constantly bringing up a single series from that long ago doesn't have any relevance now. I'm looking forward to NZ vs BD in the WT20

  • Aleckto on July 20, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    Taylor aside, NZ have had terrible luck developing new batsmen since Fleming, Astle, Richardson and co retired. In the last 5-6 years people like Guptil, McIntosh, Papps, Fulton, Flynn have been caught out and found wanting at international level. Guptil especially is most dissapointing, he gets results 'just' frequent enough to keep his place and due to the fact we've got no one else. Are our development program's up to scratch...why would we just stop producing decent batsmen? We're really screwed when Brendon McCullum retires. Rob Nicol looks ok but he to often gives his wicket away playing dumb shots and Kane Williamson is more hype than anything. New Zealand has got the best depth in unremarkably average first class batsmen in the world!!

  • carohit on July 20, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    Wht abt NZ records at ICC trophies in recent past in ODIs.I think they fair well than even SA & ENG ??

  • on July 20, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    An excellent analysis - too often articles about NZ cricket don't delve deeply enough or resort to trite phrases like 'dark horses' etc without any real thought. But this article really digs into the records and comes up with some great insight. I knew we'd been batting poorly, but just how poorly, barring Taylor, still comes as a surprise.

    Our sharp decline in ODIs is a little surprising as the core lineup did not change a huge amount, other than losing Vettori & Styris (and the batting half of Oram). Poor management/administration including the high turnover of coaches last few years plays a sizeable role.

    I've felt for the last couple of years though the test side is an engine that is just about to sputter into life and start churning out some better performances. McCullum at opener/3, Taylor, Williamson, Vettori & maybe Ryder is a solid backbone to the batting. At least one of Flynn or Guptill needs to succeed as an opener though or we'll be back on the opener merry-go-round.

  • StoneRose on July 20, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    GReat article shows the problems with NZ cricket. Mainly batting. Why ever they play 5 bowlers is beyond me.

  • Geeva on July 20, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    Whats happerning at schools cricket and club cricket in New Zealand.Surely there mus be players who are quality!Great article cricinfo.Sad to see the decline of NZ cricket tho

  • coolchaitu on July 20, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    NZ cricketers are always flamboyant. With the advent of T20 cricketers who can score quickly, even without proper technique, are surfacing. The selectors should be more cautious in picking up players for Tests and at the same time they have to give them enough opportunities by having more home matches.

  • sangan3 on July 20, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Shame that. Here's an idea: add two teams to the Australian domestic cricket league. A north and a south island team. It's done wonders for league (Warriors), football (Phoenix) and basketball (Breakers). NZ players will get to face quality opposition on quality and varied pitches. It's the batting that needs fixing and that will definitely sort the men from the boys. Alternatively: get more Saffas - worked for England (look at their 3 and 4 go).

  • Mob_King on July 20, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    This depressing article raises a number of issues about NZ cricket -- but the main one is that we don't have the resources or the soft power of the other nations. 4 million people can only produce so much, especially when rugby money poaches the best talent.

    Cricinfo is also very quiet on NZ issues, playing the one-dimensional 'under-dog' card far too often.

    Statistics such as these are rather pointless given that it's a sum-of-the-parts team with big game CLUTCH. Author also fail to mention LRPL Taylor is #7 best Test batsman in the world (in ICC rankings), with D. Vettori, K. Mills and J. Oram all filling top 10 positions for ODI bowling and all-rounder.

    Then there is the ineptitude of NZ mgmt which destroyed Shane Bond's career (check out HIS stats!) and basically has no spine nor clout in the face of the SA-India-England-Australia stakeholders' club.

    Rare upsides:

    Southee's death bowling & devlpmt

    Wagner!

    Williamson

    Guptill's county apprenticeship

    Bracewell

  • on July 20, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Its sad to see but for us to get better at test cricket we need to play more of it, Personally we need Ryder back we dont have many batsmen if his quality . New Zealand can and will be stronger

  • beejaytee on July 20, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    @Meety: Your last sentence explains why Dan & Baz bat where they do. Slim pickings, indeed. NZ don't need more batsmen, they just need each guy to bat longer. I've said it before, but Guptill in particular needs to find a reliable shot that gets him off strike. Unfortunately, in this line-up only Vettori seems to be able to rotate strike properly. NZ need Ryder back, no doubt, but what they really need is to send two batsmen (any two!) out at the start of a session (any session!) and have those same two stay there until the next break. I don't like the talk of the new, attacking Flynn. His role should be to bat through, forcing opposition bowlers to change line constantly between L & R handed batsmen. Look to ENG & SA, Kiwis! What do their batsmen do? They hang tough, bat long, keep the opposition in the field, and give their bowlers time to put their feet up between innings. This is how you win Tests, not with run-a-ball 30s and 40s.

  • on July 20, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    I bet, Play with Pakistan and they will win ODI series

  • on July 20, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    NZs ODI side is decidedly average at the moment! However, the recent test results, while not outstanding, have been promising and have shown great improvement. The last 3 series results for NZ have been 1-1 v Aus in Aus, an absolute and comprehensive dismantling of Zim and a 1-0 lost to SA in a 3 match series. The current NZ test team is full of young men and its the most exciting time for a NZ test fan in the last decade.

  • woodhaven on July 20, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    U forget to mention nz was whitewashed by Bangladesh 4-0, give them proper due

  • christy29 on July 20, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    it really does make me sad as a proud kiwi. it really hurts to watch us crash and burn so much. you have the suppot out there guys. have you looked at photos of the crowds around the 80s and early 200s? if you get those results people will come

  • on July 20, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    I don't think the value of Mark Richardson in the 2000's (with a batting average of 44.77, which is higher than the highest now) was appreciated even. It's probably time to discover somebody with similarly adhesive qualities at the batting crease.

    The team in the 1980's was probably NZ's strongest Test team; although Coney's batting average was probably a little low at 37 (albeit at No. 6), he was a pretty handy bowler too (bowling average less than batting average, which pretty much qualifies as an all rounder).

  • on July 20, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    This article is extremely depressing for us Black Cap fans... But then again, its no MAJOR surprise that we suck at batting. No technique, we either block unconvincingly or slog.

  • GasPipe on July 20, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    Martin Guptill has always been a frustration for me. I have always enjoyed watching him bat, and he has always promised, but never shined. It's a real shame. He won't be dropped though, for two reasons: (1) we do not have many batters who can take his place, and (2) I would hazard to say that he is one of the best fielders in world cricket at the moment.

    Our drop has been very agonising to watch, but seeing as I am a New Zealander and (perhaps overly) optimistic, I will always support the Black Caps and believe we can bring back some respectability and class to our outfit.

  • Meety on July 20, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    In tests, NZ really need to stop batting Vettori above #8. A batting line up with McCullum (Keeping) @#7, Vettori #8, is much more competitive. McCullum just doesn't cut it as a Test opener. Vettori's batting should be considered a bonus, not a relied upon asset. As for the rest of the top 6, only Taylor is anywhere near top class, although I do believe that Williamson has plenty of upside. Other than that, it is slim pickings for the other 4 positions.

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  • Meety on July 20, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    In tests, NZ really need to stop batting Vettori above #8. A batting line up with McCullum (Keeping) @#7, Vettori #8, is much more competitive. McCullum just doesn't cut it as a Test opener. Vettori's batting should be considered a bonus, not a relied upon asset. As for the rest of the top 6, only Taylor is anywhere near top class, although I do believe that Williamson has plenty of upside. Other than that, it is slim pickings for the other 4 positions.

  • GasPipe on July 20, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    Martin Guptill has always been a frustration for me. I have always enjoyed watching him bat, and he has always promised, but never shined. It's a real shame. He won't be dropped though, for two reasons: (1) we do not have many batters who can take his place, and (2) I would hazard to say that he is one of the best fielders in world cricket at the moment.

    Our drop has been very agonising to watch, but seeing as I am a New Zealander and (perhaps overly) optimistic, I will always support the Black Caps and believe we can bring back some respectability and class to our outfit.

  • on July 20, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    This article is extremely depressing for us Black Cap fans... But then again, its no MAJOR surprise that we suck at batting. No technique, we either block unconvincingly or slog.

  • on July 20, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    I don't think the value of Mark Richardson in the 2000's (with a batting average of 44.77, which is higher than the highest now) was appreciated even. It's probably time to discover somebody with similarly adhesive qualities at the batting crease.

    The team in the 1980's was probably NZ's strongest Test team; although Coney's batting average was probably a little low at 37 (albeit at No. 6), he was a pretty handy bowler too (bowling average less than batting average, which pretty much qualifies as an all rounder).

  • christy29 on July 20, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    it really does make me sad as a proud kiwi. it really hurts to watch us crash and burn so much. you have the suppot out there guys. have you looked at photos of the crowds around the 80s and early 200s? if you get those results people will come

  • woodhaven on July 20, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    U forget to mention nz was whitewashed by Bangladesh 4-0, give them proper due

  • on July 20, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    NZs ODI side is decidedly average at the moment! However, the recent test results, while not outstanding, have been promising and have shown great improvement. The last 3 series results for NZ have been 1-1 v Aus in Aus, an absolute and comprehensive dismantling of Zim and a 1-0 lost to SA in a 3 match series. The current NZ test team is full of young men and its the most exciting time for a NZ test fan in the last decade.

  • on July 20, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    I bet, Play with Pakistan and they will win ODI series

  • beejaytee on July 20, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    @Meety: Your last sentence explains why Dan & Baz bat where they do. Slim pickings, indeed. NZ don't need more batsmen, they just need each guy to bat longer. I've said it before, but Guptill in particular needs to find a reliable shot that gets him off strike. Unfortunately, in this line-up only Vettori seems to be able to rotate strike properly. NZ need Ryder back, no doubt, but what they really need is to send two batsmen (any two!) out at the start of a session (any session!) and have those same two stay there until the next break. I don't like the talk of the new, attacking Flynn. His role should be to bat through, forcing opposition bowlers to change line constantly between L & R handed batsmen. Look to ENG & SA, Kiwis! What do their batsmen do? They hang tough, bat long, keep the opposition in the field, and give their bowlers time to put their feet up between innings. This is how you win Tests, not with run-a-ball 30s and 40s.

  • on July 20, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Its sad to see but for us to get better at test cricket we need to play more of it, Personally we need Ryder back we dont have many batsmen if his quality . New Zealand can and will be stronger