New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, Wellington March 16, 2010

Martin running out of time to threaten Australia


Besides his batting, there is one significant gap in the Test resume of Chris Martin. No matter what he tries, regardless of what sort of form he's in, he just can't seem to deliver against Australia. In eight Tests against them, Martin has taken 14 wickets at 74.14. At 35, this series could be Martin's last chance to rectify that record and he is keen to get a good start at the Basin Reserve, a venue where he has played well over the years.

"They're very disciplined," Martin said of the Australian batsmen. "I've found in series that I've played against them in the past that I've actually walked away thinking I couldn't have really done much more, I've bowled as well as I could without really getting the results. I think that shows the quality of the guys you come up against.

"They're quite willing to bat time and pretty much see you off. If you're bowling well to them they're not necessarily going to try and take you apart for that particular spell, so they're a very disciplined outfit and one you can't get cheap wickets against."

Adding to the challenge for New Zealand is the absence of Jesse Ryder, who trained with the squad on Tuesday but is still recovering from injury, and they have also lost Iain O'Brien and Shane Bond to Test retirement in the past few months. But despite lacking experience in some departments, Martin said there was a belief around the group that they could beat Australia in a Test for the first time since 1993.

"I think so," he said. "I think you saw in the one-day and T20 series that the guys weren't really stepping backwards, they were coming forwards. Of course against a good opposition occasionally they're going to knock you off centre at times, but I think throughout the Test series there's enough quality in the side to at least hold them and I think the pushing over the line thing is in our hands."

The New Zealanders trained out in the middle of the Basin Reserve on Tuesday and Martin was impressed by the way the pitch helped the fast bowlers. He said it would be a surprise if the selectors went for a second slow bowler, meaning Jeetan Patel might have to wait until the second Test in Hamilton to make an appearance.

"Looking out there, it may have a bit more bounce and pace than most wickets that we play on in the country so the two-spinner option may not come out here," Martin said. "But I suppose it's Tuesday and we start on Friday so it could change colour and the spinners could come in to it. I presume at the moment it's the same side as Bangladesh with the option of either playing an extra seamer or Jeetan."

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Liam on March 17, 2010, 1:54 GMT

    I cant for the life of me work out why Lou Vincent has not been selected, people seem to forget that his last his last 6 test scores were 52, 224, 13, 92, 33, 4, aka an average of 70 approx!... Meanwhile the selectors persist with people like Broom and Ingram...

  • Brent on March 16, 2010, 22:20 GMT

    Im a blackcaps supporter but without any real strike in the bowling dept. I can't see them having a real chance. ODIs are won with good econ rates and runs off the bat. Tests are won with wickets. Bringing Sinclair back just shows NZs lack of depth. He'll fail and Fulton will be back next season only to fail again. Its only fair i guess with the success in domestic cricket. Ingram hasn't had a great international summer but he is a very good domestic test player. The Aussie pace will still prove to be too much for him.

  • Warren J on March 16, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Good luck to NZ. Its a pity that so many NZ players are out injured and that Bond is retired. Im sure Aus would like to compete against a full strength line up and im sure that we would all love to see that. Its seems that injury plagues NZ - with out being disrespectful - are NZ cricketers a little soft or do they maybe overtrain? seems to be a long standing problem. It could also be that the depth isnt there and so we notice it more than with other teams. Aus have certainly had there fair share of injuries recently and they arent at full strength either.Im very interested to see the outome. It will further clarify where Aus sit in the grand scheme of things. I think Aus will win, as NZ batting is very weak in tests. There best chance may be to prepare some spicey pitches and 'roll the dice' as SA did against Eng earlier this season - not that it was really that spicey)

  • Lyle on March 16, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    When NZ have Bond they look like a world class outfit when they don't there ordinary. If you look at the NZ pace attack without Bond there ordinary as they don't have a spearhead like Bond who can bowl +90mph, they have fast-medium bowlers- Tuffey, Southee, Martin.

    If NZ had all there players available they could possibly win or compete with Aus as there line up would look like this

    1- Mcintosh 2-Guptil 3-Taylor 4-Ryder* 5-Oram* 6-Styris* 7-Mcullum 8-Vetori 9-Tuffey 10-Bond* 11-Martin

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    Peter Ingram is the new Andrew Jones!!!

    Remember how the Aussies laughed at Jones technique? Well Jonesy soon shut them up. And Peter Ingram will do the same!!

    And if you believe that you'll believe anything...

  • Morgan on March 16, 2010, 9:59 GMT

    Having said all that has happned, when you look at this, Douggie B has only batted ONCE in his 20 ODI matches, which makes me think that... Very little people bowl Australia out; infact when was the last time they didnt make over requirement in ODI (when chasing or setting a target) .

    i think if NZ have any chance not to Lose / draw these tests, they need to step up and bowl Australia out as they did in the 5th ODI game

    Having said that, AUS has done this to NZ a couple times, so they may have an advatage in this area. Being the most basic rules of a test match, if you want to win, bowl the other team out twice and set some decent runs. hehe I am looking forward to these two test matches!!! Even more so after the 2 last tests NZ and AUS played were against Pakistan

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    we need to understand that although our cricketers are good players and sometimes very good players, we are not in the same league as Australian cricketers. If we play at our very best we will match them. If they play at their best we will be outclassed. Taylor, Vettori and McCullum are almost at the level of Oz cricketers - Guptil may be at that level one day. Just enjoy it for what it is rather than get wound up when Australia get on top of us.

  • raghav on March 16, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    NZL will white-wash Australia if and only if Martin scores a century!!

  • Josh on March 16, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    Im from NZ and i agree, though i'd rather any of them in the team than Sinclair

  • Dylan on March 16, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    This series will define the careers of many in the NZ squad. McIntosh, Ingram, Martin and Sinclair if he gets his shot in the side, all need to prove their worth and what a better than to do it against one of the top Test nations going around today. Of course, I'm not expecting much from them - but I would like to see McIntosh and Sinclair score runs. As for Ingram, well you can't play cricket without feet, so he is going to have to figure out some magical way to get on top of the Australian bowlers... and Martin, I guess I'll just be hoping that his pushbike tires get a puncture on the way to the match ;)

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