New Zealand's marks out of 10 April 1, 2010

New Zealand caught short again


New Zealand struggled to stay in touch with Australia for the full five days and lost both Tests convincingly. There were highlights in the performances of Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori, but there remains room for a lot of improvement.

Brendon McCullum
Had a strong series with the bat thanks to his rearguard second-innings hundred in Wellington, a performance which went against his natural aggressive instinct, and a fighting half-century when New Zealand were trying to hold on in Hamilton. McCullum, who recently had the vice-captaincy taken from him, showed impressive maturity after being jolted by a lazy dismissal in the first innings of the series.

Daniel Vettori
As usual, shouldered a heavy burden and no player from either team bowled more than his 107.3 overs for the series. His four wickets in the first innings at Hamilton gave New Zealand early hope but for the rest of the series he struggled to get many breakthroughs, which was as much a reflection of the Australians seeing him out and taking few risks as his own bowling. As the No. 6 batsman, he frustrated Australia with 77 in Wellington and outperformed some of his top-order colleagues.

Ross Taylor
Sparkled with New Zealand's fastest ever Test century in Hamilton, which will be one of the defining memories of the series. His 25-run over against Nathan Hauritz will be remembered forever by the fans who scattered around Seddon Park to avoid being struck by his sixes. He didn't have much impact in his other three innings.

Tim Southee
Had a tough time in Wellington, where he rarely looked like taking a wicket and was likely to be dropped for the second Test. Daryl Tuffey's injury allowed Southee to retain his place and he collected six wickets in Hamilton, swinging the ball impressively. He also provided a late batting highlight with a barrage against Doug Bollinger and briefly threatened to rewrite the record books for fastest Test fifties.

Brent Arnel
To look at his figures of five wickets at 50, it would be easy to assume Arnel had a poor debut series. In fact, he was the most consistent of New Zealand's seamers, moving the ball just enough to make the batsmen work hard. Did enough to warrant keeping his place in the side, especially in light of how some of his colleagues struggled.

Tim McIntosh
Like several of his mates in the batting line-up, had only one innings of significance. His 83 in the second innings at the Basin Reserve showed that the top order could fight, as he applied himself over several hours. However, he remains vulnerable early and his three other bats brought a combined 32 runs.

Martin Guptill
Showed promise but delivered little until the final innings, when he scored 58 as New Zealand were trying to hold on in Hamilton. It's unclear where he is best suited to batting and he is still finding his feet at Test level, but is a good prospect.

BJ Watling
Didn't pass fifty during the series and is still learning about how to handle world-class new-ball attacks. His top score was 46 and he wasn't out of his depth, but will need to lift to retain his place as an opener in the long-term.

Mathew Sinclair
Unexpectedly brought back for the second Test after a two-year absence, Sinclair made starts in both bats without proving that he should remain. Mark Greatbatch was impressed with his application in the second innings but the likely return of Jesse Ryder later in the year will in part determine whether Sinclair stays.

Jeetan Patel
Left out in Wellington and included for Hamilton, Patel remains in the unenviable position of being an in-and-out player. It is hard for him to find rhythm when he spends so long on the sidelines and he picked up a couple of wickets, but at a costly average of 85. Vettori is convinced Patel is the second-best spinner in the country, so he should play a greater role in the tours of the subcontinent later in the year.

Peter Ingram
Run out for 5 in the first innings at the Basin Reserve and caught behind for 1 in the second, Ingram offered little at No. 3 and was axed for the second Test. His lack of footwork made him vulnerable outside off against quality bowling but he promptly went back to the Plunket Shield and plundered 85 and a century while the second Test was under way, suggesting he might remain in the mix in future.

Daryl Tuffey
Didn't make a breakthrough in Wellington and continued his ten-year run without a Test wicket against Australia. Suffered a broken hand while batting, which ruled him out of the second Test and the World Twenty20.

Chris Martin
A series return of 1 for 260 was exactly what Martin didn't want, after declaring before the first Test that he was keen to lift his disappointing five-day record against Australia. At 35 and with some younger prospects in the domestic ranks, the future for Martin is unclear.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nathan on April 4, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    charonTFm has a point with the combining of first class cricket between NZ and AUS. Maybe AUS NZ and SA would have a super 15's rugby like 20-20 competition to start off to see how it would work out. it would help young cricketers get overseas experience and to play at a higher level then regular first class or 20-20 games.

  • Sam on April 4, 2010, 1:29 GMT

    I love the teams offered up by kuroneko and taylorsdaman10 but I don't think McIntosh should be in the team. Martin is terrible and is a joke with the bat. Fine you don't have to be able to bat well if you are a front line bowler but when you are not taking wickets it is time to go. A bowler that can at least defend for fifty deliveries can partner a set batsman for additional runs. Surely there are some younger and faster bowlers in NZ? Australia are dominating because they have three guys that can bowl extended spells at over 140kph. McKay Tuffey and Southee is about the best we can do at the moment. Watson bowls about as good as Southee!

  • Sam on April 3, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    I don't think there is anything particularly malicious about Simon Doull and the one thing I do like about the NZ commentating is their impartiality and sense of humour (in truth, they need it - they don't have too much to crow about!) Compare that with the rugby commentary,( Listen to Eddie Butler and Brian Moore on the 6 Nations if you want to hear proper, informative rugby commentary. Aah, but that's another story). Incidentally I was at the Hamilton game and when it was announced that Ross Taylor had scored the fastest test century not one Australian player applauded him. You're right though Popcorn, NZ does have to get over the underarm thing. After all, it was a very long time ago.

  • Rajaram on April 3, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    One of the lessons the Kiwi Cricket and Television Management could learn is - remove Simon Doull from commentary.He made snide remarks about the Aussies twice. The first time, he said Michael Clarke has a tattoo on his upper arm that says LB. He added, now that he has split from Lara Bingle, he could add a W to make the tattoo LBW.The second time, when Allan Border showed that a lot of Australian spectators were enjoying themselves playing cricket on the Hill,he said they are probably playing underarm bowling - a slimy way referring to Greg Chappell's underarm tactics to defeat New Zealand. Move on, Doullie,you are no help to NZ Cricket.

  • Sam on April 3, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    My top 11 would have to be Ryder (needs to be fit - get a life coach, Jessie) BJ Watling (but he needs time) Guptill (but he needs time) Ross Taylor (but someone please tell him that test matches are as much about batting 'time' as scoring runs) Kane Williamson (the sooner the better but give him time in the team - not in and out) Dan V (are NZ reaping the benefits of giving him a chance when at a young age?) Brendon (finally getting his act together as a test match batsman) Tim Southee (pray for swing) Daryll Tuffy maybe and there I run out!!!!!!!!!!!! And therein lies Nz's problem. No bowlers! Still there is the core of a promising team here and they need time to work together.

  • damian on April 2, 2010, 21:53 GMT

    Hopefully Patel never gets to play for the blackcaps again, compare his figures to Auzzie part timer Michael Clarke, awful

  • Steve on April 2, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    Interesting the comments about NZ B or C side. Australia fielded a side which bore little resemblence to what they were 12 months ago, even 9 months ago at the start of the Ashes particularly when you look at the bowlers. How many people would have picked Bollinger and Harris as the new ball combination prior to the start of the series? Already missing Lee (now retired from long form of game), Hilfenhaus, Clark (injuries and unusual selections aside).

  • John on April 2, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    sure we are struggling re a 33% injuries rate, premature retirements, odd selections the lack of an all rounder and a couple of other minor quibbles. I predict 2016 NZ will be top 3 in the test rankings when our now featherbed pitches will have helped our batsmens techniques and forced out first class bowlers to work harder. By then Ryder, taylor, williamson, watling, mccullum, guptill, possibly even sinclair, southee are going to have a lot of runs under the belt. The stars say another Richard hadlle is on the way...

  • Michael on April 1, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    I think Australia and New Zealand should combine their First Class cricket together and compete against each other. It'll be just like the A-League, that way New Zealand First Class gets a taste of International Cricket, and have genuine pace bowlers. It will strengthen both sides First Class teams, and hopefully increase 4 day cricket attendance.

  • Michael on April 1, 2010, 21:28 GMT

    Not sure if this comment will show, as none of my other ones ever make it on for some reason, but I think Southee had a pretty good final test there in Hamilton, which should convince him that he can hang it in the top level. His speed is increasing, last year he was primarily in the mid 130s, now he's hitting the early 140km/h speeds, which is a good sign. I think with Andy McKay back in the side we'll have a good bowling attack, as McKay was able to reach similar speeds to Shane bond and Iain O'Brien (late 140km/h and up to 150). What was not really mentioned properly was that this was our B squad at best throughout the series, even our C squad at times, so with Ryder, Mills, McKay, Elliot and Tuffee back we should look far more competitive soon. I just wish they brough Kane Williamson in to that last test rather than Jeetan Patel, as that would have been far more interesting...

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