New Zealand v Australia, 3rd ODI, Hamilton March 8, 2010

'Most important game' for injury-hit NZ

22

Match Facts

Tuesday, March 9
Start time 1400 (0100 GMT)

The Big Picture

Chappell-Hadlee matches have a habit of being close and the opening two games of this series have been no exception. With a couple of overs remaining in each clash, either side could have won and a 1-1 scoreline is fitting. The Auckland encounter didn't feature the heated mood that simmered over in Napier, when Mitchell Johnson and Scott Styris clashed, but there remains some tension and the crowds have been vocal in their feelings towards the Australians.

Much of the focus for the New Zealand camp has been their injury worries, with James Franklin and Ross Taylor added to the casualty list on the weekend. They are already unable to pick Jesse Ryder, Grant Elliott, Kyle Mills, Ian Butler or Andy McKay due to injuries. It has left the team short and they would be keen for fringe players like Neil Broom and Peter Ingram to step up in the remaining games.

"I'm happy but as a captain [you get] sick of having to test depth issues," Vettori said. "We want our full team available as often as possible and it hurts you. But it's created opportunities. You look at the likes of a Gareth Hopkins who has come in and performed very well on his few chances. Maybe there are opportunities there but I think it would be better if it was 15 fully-fit guys competing for places."

Form guide (most recent first)

New Zealand LWWWW
Australia WLWNW

Watch out for...

Mr Cricket has become Mr Consistency over the past six months. Michael Hussey is sometimes overlooked amid discussions of Australia's recent one-day success but it's an unfair omission. He is the world's No. 2 ranked ODI batsman and remarkably has reached double-figures in every one of his past 19 one-day international innings. In that time he has made eight half-centuries and is averaging 63.21. He has also carried the burden of often coming in when the top-order has stumbled and he has been under pressure to steady the innings.

If Hussey is Mr Cricket, Daniel Vettori is Mr New Zealand Cricket. He is a man of many roles but the most crucial are the basics - No. 1 bowler and increasingly key batsman. In Auckland, his counter-attacking 70 nearly got New Zealand home after he had taken 2 for 43. Few players worldwide are more critical to their team's success than Vettori, even if they did win without him in Napier.

Team news

Finding 11 fit players is half the battle for New Zealand. They lost Jacob Oram to a knee injury in the first game and on Saturday, Taylor didn't play due to a leg problem and Franklin hobbled off with a hamstring injury. Taylor and Franklin are considered 50-50 chances for this game, although Franklin's all-round requirements mean they could be more cautious in resting him. Vettori will play again despite his stiff neck and he could be joined by the uncapped batsman Shanan Stewart, who was called in to cover for Taylor. Gareth Hopkins will keep wickets again due to Brendon McCullum's sore back.

New Zealand (possible) 1 Brendon McCullum (wk), 2 Peter Ingram, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor/Shanan Stewart, 5 Neil Broom, 6 Scott Styris, 7 Gareth Hopkins (wk), 8 Daniel Vettori (capt), 9 Daryl Tuffey, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Shane Bond.

The Australians will be without their vice-captain Michael Clarke for an indefinite period, who's returning home for personal reasons, which means Adam Voges will play. A possible change is the potential inclusion of the fast man Clint McKay. Following a boom home summer, Doug Bollinger has had a couple of busts in New Zealand and could sit out of this one.

Australia (possible) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Adam Voges, 5 Cameron White, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 James Hopes, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Ryan Harris, 11 Clint McKay.

Stats and trivia

  • New Zealand have an excellent record at Seddon Park, where they have won 10 of the 13 ODIs they have played. Australia have never beaten New Zealand at the venue
  • Australia's win on Saturday was their first victory in a Chappell-Hadlee Series match in New Zealand since December 2005
  • The Australians have now won 30 of the 41 ODIs they have played over the past year. Nathan Hauritz has taken part in the most games, missing only one
  • New Zealand have won 10 of 19 they have played in the same period. Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum are the only men to have taken part in every game

    Quotes

    "It's probably the most important game of the series. The team that can go 2-1 up only needs to win one more to take out the series so we're trying to put everything in to this game."
    Daniel Vettori

    "A lot of us are getting 40s and 50s and some pretty good starts, and getting competitive totals like yesterday. But it's pretty important we start putting some big scores together and start batting New Zealand out of the game."
    Brad Haddin

    Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cheesemethod on March 9, 2010, 2:30 GMT

    Well at least NZ have forced ponting to change his "always bat first" theory. Not that surprised really! Aus will chase down these runs no worries, unfortunately

  • revdanichols on March 9, 2010, 0:50 GMT

    Great to see so much go spirit in these comments - all cricket fans, no-one having a go or mentioning under-arm…

    y2jabroni - as an Aussie I can confirm that Watto is just about the most unpopular bloke in the country. FIGJAM would be an appropriate nickname. The main interest in the test series over the summer was in him not getting his hundred. In fact, much of this team hasn't really captured the hearts of the public, probably due to their filthy behaviour v India a few years ago.

    But yes, Aussie fans have no injuries to complain about. We all knew about Pups lack of ticker, but Lee is finished and Bracken only seems to be in the team so people watch the AB Medal.

    Heres hoping that we get a good-close game of cricket, much respect to NZ - easily the best TEAM going around, as opposed to the best group of players. Vettori for President of the World.

  • on March 8, 2010, 23:59 GMT

    "It's probably the most important game of the series. The team that can go 2-1 up only needs to win one more to take out the series so we're trying to put everything in to this game."

    Thanks for that, Dan.

  • renegademaster on March 8, 2010, 23:58 GMT

    NZ would wipe the floor with Australia if they hadn't had such a rotten run of injuries. Aussies know that, too. They should go back to playing the Windies 12 times a year to make crybabies like Johnson and Watson feel better about themselves. Go the Black Caps - the next ODI world champions.

  • Rooboy on March 8, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    Loving this tour. I would rather see Aus lose in the types of games we are seeing, than watch them win game after game by 100 runs etc as we saw for most of the summer so far. Some good efforts by several players, but Daniel Vettori is just a stand out. Fantastic to see two sides go hard at each other on the field without the whining, blame, and victim mentality associated with some other international teams ...

  • cheesemethod on March 8, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    and lets not forget the CH series last year in Australia. NZ didn't win it but they won the first 2 games, more than can be said about any of their other opposition. Test matches are a different story. NZ doesn't have a true pacey strike test bowler. Aus will dominate the tests.

    Neil Broom is a proven domestic player with huge scores which DOES justify selection. Its a matter of moving his game to international level. Past players like Fulton and Sinclair have similar problems, both of them are still scoring huge in domestic but play without confidence at int. level. I'm not sure hopkins is the right pick unless they really plan on keeping mccullum away from the sticks. Better to get an allrounder in there.

  • Boonys_army on March 8, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    Ok ok, I'll give you Kiwi's credit where its due. You make a good ODI team when playin us Aussies. It is one one the best series we have especially when playin in NZ on a cold Autumn evening. I will say this though, Australia 'A' will go close to beating the top Aussie XI, the depth is so good that you would barely notice the difference.

  • Blearyeyes on March 8, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    @amdtelrunya, Gareth Hopkins may have been only averaging 8 or whatever for his ODI career, but he played very well in the 20/20 including a key partnership with McCullum, and batted well in the last ODI too under considerable pressure. And his keeping has been pretty tidy. So when Vettori talks about him having done well form few chances, it is these latest innings he is referring to. He's certainly done better than some of the so-called specialist batsmen like Broom or Ingram. The guy is nuggety and doesn't give his wicket away cheaply like certain others tend to do!

  • Rukus_NZ on March 8, 2010, 21:43 GMT

    LoL boonys army, sounds like you have had a couple too many VBs on the plane there ;) some of the players you mentioned that are not avaliable have not been playing for some time, such as bracken and lee.. Clarke is out due to personal reasons also, and hasnt been in the best form in ODI format

    You are right in hinting towards australia having better depth, but saying Aus A will beat us when clearly thier top teams have been close to losing and hav elost games, it taking it a bit far ;)

    If NZ takes the series which could happen, would you still say the same thing?

  • lancsjohn on March 8, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    I agree Its okay for NZ to say they arent able to field their first choice team due to injury. but Aussie too have the exact same problem. Convenient to not recognise this.

    Good series and NZ punching far above their wieght . looking forward to todays game.

  • cheesemethod on March 9, 2010, 2:30 GMT

    Well at least NZ have forced ponting to change his "always bat first" theory. Not that surprised really! Aus will chase down these runs no worries, unfortunately

  • revdanichols on March 9, 2010, 0:50 GMT

    Great to see so much go spirit in these comments - all cricket fans, no-one having a go or mentioning under-arm…

    y2jabroni - as an Aussie I can confirm that Watto is just about the most unpopular bloke in the country. FIGJAM would be an appropriate nickname. The main interest in the test series over the summer was in him not getting his hundred. In fact, much of this team hasn't really captured the hearts of the public, probably due to their filthy behaviour v India a few years ago.

    But yes, Aussie fans have no injuries to complain about. We all knew about Pups lack of ticker, but Lee is finished and Bracken only seems to be in the team so people watch the AB Medal.

    Heres hoping that we get a good-close game of cricket, much respect to NZ - easily the best TEAM going around, as opposed to the best group of players. Vettori for President of the World.

  • on March 8, 2010, 23:59 GMT

    "It's probably the most important game of the series. The team that can go 2-1 up only needs to win one more to take out the series so we're trying to put everything in to this game."

    Thanks for that, Dan.

  • renegademaster on March 8, 2010, 23:58 GMT

    NZ would wipe the floor with Australia if they hadn't had such a rotten run of injuries. Aussies know that, too. They should go back to playing the Windies 12 times a year to make crybabies like Johnson and Watson feel better about themselves. Go the Black Caps - the next ODI world champions.

  • Rooboy on March 8, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    Loving this tour. I would rather see Aus lose in the types of games we are seeing, than watch them win game after game by 100 runs etc as we saw for most of the summer so far. Some good efforts by several players, but Daniel Vettori is just a stand out. Fantastic to see two sides go hard at each other on the field without the whining, blame, and victim mentality associated with some other international teams ...

  • cheesemethod on March 8, 2010, 23:50 GMT

    and lets not forget the CH series last year in Australia. NZ didn't win it but they won the first 2 games, more than can be said about any of their other opposition. Test matches are a different story. NZ doesn't have a true pacey strike test bowler. Aus will dominate the tests.

    Neil Broom is a proven domestic player with huge scores which DOES justify selection. Its a matter of moving his game to international level. Past players like Fulton and Sinclair have similar problems, both of them are still scoring huge in domestic but play without confidence at int. level. I'm not sure hopkins is the right pick unless they really plan on keeping mccullum away from the sticks. Better to get an allrounder in there.

  • Boonys_army on March 8, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    Ok ok, I'll give you Kiwi's credit where its due. You make a good ODI team when playin us Aussies. It is one one the best series we have especially when playin in NZ on a cold Autumn evening. I will say this though, Australia 'A' will go close to beating the top Aussie XI, the depth is so good that you would barely notice the difference.

  • Blearyeyes on March 8, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    @amdtelrunya, Gareth Hopkins may have been only averaging 8 or whatever for his ODI career, but he played very well in the 20/20 including a key partnership with McCullum, and batted well in the last ODI too under considerable pressure. And his keeping has been pretty tidy. So when Vettori talks about him having done well form few chances, it is these latest innings he is referring to. He's certainly done better than some of the so-called specialist batsmen like Broom or Ingram. The guy is nuggety and doesn't give his wicket away cheaply like certain others tend to do!

  • Rukus_NZ on March 8, 2010, 21:43 GMT

    LoL boonys army, sounds like you have had a couple too many VBs on the plane there ;) some of the players you mentioned that are not avaliable have not been playing for some time, such as bracken and lee.. Clarke is out due to personal reasons also, and hasnt been in the best form in ODI format

    You are right in hinting towards australia having better depth, but saying Aus A will beat us when clearly thier top teams have been close to losing and hav elost games, it taking it a bit far ;)

    If NZ takes the series which could happen, would you still say the same thing?

  • lancsjohn on March 8, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    I agree Its okay for NZ to say they arent able to field their first choice team due to injury. but Aussie too have the exact same problem. Convenient to not recognise this.

    Good series and NZ punching far above their wieght . looking forward to todays game.

  • cheesemethod on March 8, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    Boonys Army. NZs injuries are more written about because Australia has a much better structured and finanically backed cricket system with a deeper player pool. Wasn't nathan bracken playing in the ford ranger cup games? yet not included in the ODI squad, just shows that one good player can be replaced by another good experienced player. I still think Dave Warner & Dave Hussey would be a huge threat in the ODI team, plus theres many more to pick from... Basically don't whinge about injuries if you're an Aussie. you've got the ability to put several different world class teams on the park. Im picking NZ for a win tonight if they bat 2nd

    Always a great pitch at Hamilton and a huge atmosphere, scores gunna be 320+

  • chinaman75 on March 8, 2010, 21:08 GMT

    Part of the fun of being a black cap supporter is the fact you never know whats going to happen with them. We could winge about our lack of depth injuries etc but thats just the way it is. The wallabies have the same problem in rugby. Heres to the black caps destroying the daggy greens in game 3.

  • y2jabroni on March 8, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    I think this new generation of Aussie players - esp Watson & Johnston, are complete whingers - things don't go their way and they begin to throw a paddy and get all cranky just because they're getting hit around - don't get me wrong, I think Michael Hussey seems like a top guy, but those other two seem to have a massive chip on their shoulders and are pretty disliked in this country (you guys obviously may not care about that, though).

    Is there any negative press in AUS over the attitudes of these players like there is here? The news here is really kinda exposing how bad these players come across as taking a poor performance or a close contest.

  • y2jabroni on March 8, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    As a kiwi, I think it's just nice to see a game in which Aussie may actually lose, let alone nearly lose, rather than the year in, year out tediom of them scoring an enormous total and the other team barely coming close except for one partnership which nearly gives them respectability.

    Aussie don't see to have an AUS A team - great players come out year after year, but NZ takes time to est good players and is constantly rebuilding. It's just nice to see Aus nearly or actually lose, rather than mop the floor with the opposition - surely even you Aussies would prefer to see a good match over a one sided thrashing?

    Even if Aus somehow loses the 1 dayers (and I hope so) - don't worry, tests around the corner, and NZ are still short of the mark in that department unfortunately.

    Just nice to see Ricky Ponting sweating a little rather than cocky as he always is.

  • y2jabroni on March 8, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    (I'm a kiwi, I shud add)

    I watch the Aussie home series each year on tv and, though I usually back Aussie sports teams when they don't play us, it gets thoroughly boring to effectively see the same game repeatedly played - Ricky Ponting wins the toss, - Australia bat first and make an enormous total after an opening stand of more than 100, - Tony Greig wont shut up about how great they are - The opposing team bats & loses regular wickets - one partnership in the middle suggests they may come back but it only gives slight respectability to an otherwise complete humiliation

    Australia win. Wow, didn't see that coming.....but, on the other hand, in the C/H series between Aus and NZ,

    There's an element of 'Australia may lose' (provided it's in NZ) and, whether you're in Australia or New Zealand, that's gotta make it more interesting to watch?

  • immit13 on March 8, 2010, 20:32 GMT

    COME ON you BLACK caps.... give Aussies a run. I feel NZ will win the series no matter what happens. Aussies have no good batsman after Gilly & Hayden... no matter which format of game they play. In bowling too it all depends on Mitchell Johnson. This two teams are currently perfectly matched up but still Support NZ.

    Unfortunately NZ has more injury worries than Oz but still they are the ones whom i see as SERIES WINNERS!!! They have great spirit and attitude though less experienced than Aussies team.

  • amdtelrunya on March 8, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    I doubt Franklin will play. The problem with the NZ team above is that there is only 5 bowlers which is a worry. Taylor really has to play if he can instead of Stewart, the batting is pretty fragile without him. To get the 6 bowlers (will Styris really bowl 10 overs?) N McCullum or Mason have to play instead of Hopkins. B McCullum has to keep. Hopkins has "performed very well on his few chances"! What has this guy done to brainwash everyone, he averages 11 from 8 innings with a highest score of 35! Hamilton is usually death for spinners but I would pick N McCullum over Mason to bat at 8. And for goodness sake stick Styris in above Broom at 5.

  • MarkFielding on March 8, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    If Ross Taylor is fit they should drop Neil Broom and give the new guy a go...Broom has not justified his selection. One 50+ score and a handful of starts that have gone no where...

  • Kula_Bowls_Inswing on March 8, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    Australia look like they are the first team to settle on their best XI for the ODI world cup in 2011. Their top 7 looks settled when Marsh returns for Hopes, unless Australia are unwilling to use Watson as the 5th bowler. Their bowling is less set in stone, with Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken to return, but the replacement quicks have done well enough to create a bit of interest over the fast bowling slots. The other interesting issue will be whether they pick 2 spinners, which looks unlikely. Since the world 20/20, SA's selection has been unsure. India look fairly settled until they lose Sachin, Sehwag & Yuvraj. England have always had inconsistent selection in ODIs and Pietersen's struggles have put pressure on players like Trott and Shah, who have been dropped for a power hitter like Kieawetter. WI and SL have been plagued by injury and heaven knows what goes through the minds of the Pakistan selectors. NZ look fairly settled, injuries aside.

  • on March 8, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Franklin, Broom don't deserve to play so high up the order. Styris must play at No.5, Imo. Dan Vet's their most consistent batsman, and he comes at No.8, funny.

    The Kiwis still remain a side full of utility players, which is a joke.

    Expecting the Aussies to win it tomorrow, though it will be and should be a cracker of a game. And hoping to see some boiled up action between the players. Won't mind the banters at all. Hah!

  • Boonys_army on March 8, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    Written is NZ's poor run of injuries but you dont hear about the Aussies unavailable. Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Michael Clarke, Shaun Marsh (although somehow he made it to the 'possible XI'???) all not available to play... then again, Australia 'A' would still beat these plucky New Zillinders so its not really worth mentioning who isnt playing.

    Apart from my recognitive abilities unable to easily read NAARUN's post, i have to agree on his takes on James Hopes. His only downside is his inability to dominate a game. He's sound in every area but he doesnt give you the feeling of beign able to take the game away from the opposition. But since Shane Watson is wrapped in cotton wool and rarely gets a decent bowl, Hopes is there to pick up the slack.

  • NAARUN on March 8, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    COME ON AUSSIES!!!!!!!!! I LOVE TO C U WIN THIS GAME AND MARCH TOWARDS WINNING THE SERIES......... JAMES HOPES IS MY HERO AND I EXPECT HIM TO PROVIDE THE SAME LATE BURST OF QUICK 40+ AND A TIDY MEDIUM PACE SPELL.... HE HAS BEEN IN AND OUT OF THE 11. BUT ALWAYS HAS PROVED HE IS A BETTER PLAYER THAN HIS STAT... COME PONTING APPRECIATE UR ALLROUNDER ... COME ON AUSSIES..

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  • NAARUN on March 8, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    COME ON AUSSIES!!!!!!!!! I LOVE TO C U WIN THIS GAME AND MARCH TOWARDS WINNING THE SERIES......... JAMES HOPES IS MY HERO AND I EXPECT HIM TO PROVIDE THE SAME LATE BURST OF QUICK 40+ AND A TIDY MEDIUM PACE SPELL.... HE HAS BEEN IN AND OUT OF THE 11. BUT ALWAYS HAS PROVED HE IS A BETTER PLAYER THAN HIS STAT... COME PONTING APPRECIATE UR ALLROUNDER ... COME ON AUSSIES..

  • Boonys_army on March 8, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    Written is NZ's poor run of injuries but you dont hear about the Aussies unavailable. Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Michael Clarke, Shaun Marsh (although somehow he made it to the 'possible XI'???) all not available to play... then again, Australia 'A' would still beat these plucky New Zillinders so its not really worth mentioning who isnt playing.

    Apart from my recognitive abilities unable to easily read NAARUN's post, i have to agree on his takes on James Hopes. His only downside is his inability to dominate a game. He's sound in every area but he doesnt give you the feeling of beign able to take the game away from the opposition. But since Shane Watson is wrapped in cotton wool and rarely gets a decent bowl, Hopes is there to pick up the slack.

  • on March 8, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Franklin, Broom don't deserve to play so high up the order. Styris must play at No.5, Imo. Dan Vet's their most consistent batsman, and he comes at No.8, funny.

    The Kiwis still remain a side full of utility players, which is a joke.

    Expecting the Aussies to win it tomorrow, though it will be and should be a cracker of a game. And hoping to see some boiled up action between the players. Won't mind the banters at all. Hah!

  • Kula_Bowls_Inswing on March 8, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    Australia look like they are the first team to settle on their best XI for the ODI world cup in 2011. Their top 7 looks settled when Marsh returns for Hopes, unless Australia are unwilling to use Watson as the 5th bowler. Their bowling is less set in stone, with Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken to return, but the replacement quicks have done well enough to create a bit of interest over the fast bowling slots. The other interesting issue will be whether they pick 2 spinners, which looks unlikely. Since the world 20/20, SA's selection has been unsure. India look fairly settled until they lose Sachin, Sehwag & Yuvraj. England have always had inconsistent selection in ODIs and Pietersen's struggles have put pressure on players like Trott and Shah, who have been dropped for a power hitter like Kieawetter. WI and SL have been plagued by injury and heaven knows what goes through the minds of the Pakistan selectors. NZ look fairly settled, injuries aside.

  • MarkFielding on March 8, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    If Ross Taylor is fit they should drop Neil Broom and give the new guy a go...Broom has not justified his selection. One 50+ score and a handful of starts that have gone no where...

  • amdtelrunya on March 8, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    I doubt Franklin will play. The problem with the NZ team above is that there is only 5 bowlers which is a worry. Taylor really has to play if he can instead of Stewart, the batting is pretty fragile without him. To get the 6 bowlers (will Styris really bowl 10 overs?) N McCullum or Mason have to play instead of Hopkins. B McCullum has to keep. Hopkins has "performed very well on his few chances"! What has this guy done to brainwash everyone, he averages 11 from 8 innings with a highest score of 35! Hamilton is usually death for spinners but I would pick N McCullum over Mason to bat at 8. And for goodness sake stick Styris in above Broom at 5.

  • immit13 on March 8, 2010, 20:32 GMT

    COME ON you BLACK caps.... give Aussies a run. I feel NZ will win the series no matter what happens. Aussies have no good batsman after Gilly & Hayden... no matter which format of game they play. In bowling too it all depends on Mitchell Johnson. This two teams are currently perfectly matched up but still Support NZ.

    Unfortunately NZ has more injury worries than Oz but still they are the ones whom i see as SERIES WINNERS!!! They have great spirit and attitude though less experienced than Aussies team.

  • y2jabroni on March 8, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    (I'm a kiwi, I shud add)

    I watch the Aussie home series each year on tv and, though I usually back Aussie sports teams when they don't play us, it gets thoroughly boring to effectively see the same game repeatedly played - Ricky Ponting wins the toss, - Australia bat first and make an enormous total after an opening stand of more than 100, - Tony Greig wont shut up about how great they are - The opposing team bats & loses regular wickets - one partnership in the middle suggests they may come back but it only gives slight respectability to an otherwise complete humiliation

    Australia win. Wow, didn't see that coming.....but, on the other hand, in the C/H series between Aus and NZ,

    There's an element of 'Australia may lose' (provided it's in NZ) and, whether you're in Australia or New Zealand, that's gotta make it more interesting to watch?

  • y2jabroni on March 8, 2010, 20:43 GMT

    As a kiwi, I think it's just nice to see a game in which Aussie may actually lose, let alone nearly lose, rather than the year in, year out tediom of them scoring an enormous total and the other team barely coming close except for one partnership which nearly gives them respectability.

    Aussie don't see to have an AUS A team - great players come out year after year, but NZ takes time to est good players and is constantly rebuilding. It's just nice to see Aus nearly or actually lose, rather than mop the floor with the opposition - surely even you Aussies would prefer to see a good match over a one sided thrashing?

    Even if Aus somehow loses the 1 dayers (and I hope so) - don't worry, tests around the corner, and NZ are still short of the mark in that department unfortunately.

    Just nice to see Ricky Ponting sweating a little rather than cocky as he always is.

  • y2jabroni on March 8, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    I think this new generation of Aussie players - esp Watson & Johnston, are complete whingers - things don't go their way and they begin to throw a paddy and get all cranky just because they're getting hit around - don't get me wrong, I think Michael Hussey seems like a top guy, but those other two seem to have a massive chip on their shoulders and are pretty disliked in this country (you guys obviously may not care about that, though).

    Is there any negative press in AUS over the attitudes of these players like there is here? The news here is really kinda exposing how bad these players come across as taking a poor performance or a close contest.