South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Centurion November 18, 2007

Vettori lambasts 'inept' performance

Cricinfo staff
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Dale Steyn: man of the moment after his 6 for 49 © Getty Images

The New Zealand captain, Daniel Vettori, branded his side's performance against South Africa "inept" after they lost the second Test at Centurion inside three days by an innings and 59 runs.

Prior to this brief two-Test series New Zealand had played eight Tests in two years (to South Africa's 19) and just two in over 12 months. It was, as Vettori admitted, a tough beginning to his tenure as captain.

"It doubles up after the performance we put up at the Wanderers. We thought we could come back and fight a little bit harder here but unfortunately we delivered a similarly inept performance," he said.

"We need to play more Test cricket. It's also got to come down to individuals, to increase skill levels and desire. We need to put performances together against quality opposition. We've got Bangladesh coming up next.

"If we go ahead and win those games it doesn't necessarily mean we've become a good Test team. We've got to put performances together against teams like Australia and South Africa, and England back home in our summer."

The 2-0 series loss relegates New Zealand to seventh in the Test rankings, while South Africa leapfrog India and Pakistan to third spot and close in on England. Though it was undoubtedly a team effort from South Africa, Dale Steyn had the biggest impact on the series with consecutive ten-wicket match hauls. A career-best 6 for 49 today routed New Zealand for a paltry 136.

"I'm just doing what I have to do," he said, "getting the ball in the right places and communicating well with my captain. The guys off the field prepare these things so we can see the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. We have bowled to a plan."

Graeme Smith, his captain, was full of praise for the young colt but insisted that Steyn's success was due in no small part to Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel and Jacques Kallis.

"He's [Steyn] bowled at pace with good control and he's got the ball to swing," he said. "But the other guys have worked around him pretty well which has allowed him to come back at different times and strike. I like to know that he's hungry for more success."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SoutiePom on November 21, 2007, 11:04 GMT

    I'm still not convinced that this is even SA's best team. Andre Nel, while a fierce competitor does not measure up to Pollock, and Pollock's exclusion leaves our batting far too brittle. Kallis isn't going to go big every game, and we need to have a little more depth.

  • Craig37 on November 21, 2007, 0:58 GMT

    New Zealand's effort against South Africa was feeble, and I am being kind. It matchs their attempt to play test cricket against West Indies at the Basin Reserve in the early 1990s when they were beaten by an innings and over 200 runs. There was no application at all by any of the batsmen: they just do not how to bat sessions. However, I do not believe South Africa are all that great either. Take away the four centuries from Kallis and Amla, and perhaps the teams would be even. If South Africa were playing Australia right now, I believe that the Boks will be lucky to come a distant second. However, after this farce by the 'Dud' Caps is over, the Bangladesh team maybe in with a chance to snare a test victory.

  • Flemy on November 20, 2007, 6:49 GMT

    I Think The kiwis are in oneday mode they were really unable to swap there modes & the injuries make the also playes there part, one more thing i want to add that paps doesnot desreve a place ahaed of vincent in the first test that was also a major factor.But i m still with kiwis these things happens, good te see fleming back in the side & showing a good form. Bad start for vettori but there is nothin wrong with the captainsy the batsman lets him down. but still onedayers r left. so ope wll see the old blackcaos

    cheers The Biiggest Fan of The Blackcaps form india Anil

  • goughyz on November 20, 2007, 6:01 GMT

    I am a huge fan of New Zealand cricket, but the recent series reminded me of how far behind in test cricket we are, and it was pretty much every aspect of the game we got dominated in. Our fielding was sloppy at best, our bowling attack reminded me of club cricket, and our batting was atrocious. If the selectors are telling me that the eleven players on the pitch are the best cricketers in our country, i think we have some extremely tough times ahead. Admitedly we have been 'crippled' by injuries, but it showed exactly how vunerable we actually are, when the replacements stepped up. We rely so heavily on players like Fleming, Bond and Vettori, and if they dont play well, 90% of the time, the team doesn't play well. It was a shame that when my country of origin was playing a test match, i spent more time watching Aus vs SL. Which proved to be a far more interesting and exciting match to watch.

  • Mikey99 on November 20, 2007, 5:31 GMT

    Well, sitaram58 I think your message says much more about yourself than it does about the real state of NZ cricket.

    I remember India taking a flogging here in NZ not so long ago and receiving more gracious comments from NZ commentators. I don't think Indian cricket is so strong that you can afford to be so rude about another nation's cricketers.

  • Ross_Taylor on November 20, 2007, 1:56 GMT

    Hey Sitaram58 if India is so good why have they not beaten NZ in a test match since 1999, let alone win a test series against them?

  • fredaloisinnocent on November 20, 2007, 1:50 GMT

    As an England fan it is a change to see another team getting hammered. Seriously - NZ are disappearing back to the bad old days...one day cricket is not a route to 5-day success! Just look at India and Pakistan...dpent too much time breeding exciting "boom boom" players but failed to truly match WI of 80's and Aus of 90's and beyond. One day cricket is very exciting and refreshing from one perspective (I like to watch it) but Aus aside (as they are very different - spit!) to be good at Tests yo umust play tests - regularly - against the best. R.I.P. Sir Rich, MDC, Cairns et. al. Your boys are not being backed by Cricket NZ management - stop chasing the buck$ and let the men compete!!

  • Tristy on November 20, 2007, 0:24 GMT

    Im not convinced with South Africa yet. The way the Kiwis played i could of beaten them on my own with my eyes closed.Its disappointing to see these performances by the Kiwis, but im not surprised because they emphasise far too much on one day cricket. Their priority is one dayers and they wonder why they are getting flogged in tests. Surely there are batsmen in NZ who can bat for a couple of sessions, and if there are any, they need to get these blokes in there ASAP. Its a faulse dawn for South Africa because they can never beat the good teams. They are pretenders. I dont buy all this about Kallis either- just look at the bowling attacks (or lack of them) to see that it wouldnt have been that hard to score against. He needs to do that against the Ozzies in Australia.

  • workshy on November 19, 2007, 20:41 GMT

    It seems to me all the fans of 20/20 should take a long hard look at themselves.Is it any surprise we can't bat for two sessions given that the dot ball is anathema to most the cricket played. Fleming and vincent played there usual breezy shot filled innings but perhaps they could look at trying to play session by session and occupy the crease and leave the constant big heaves to the tail enders who in our case could do worse than take a leaf from Murali's book and close theie eyes and windmill every ball

  • Aaron_sfas on November 19, 2007, 20:39 GMT

    Looks like there are signs of life from a team that isn't Australia. I can't wait until the next time Asutralia and South Africa meet in a test. I just hope it is SA's brilliance and not just NZ's lackluster performances that won them the series. I'm sure we all remember what happened to the "world number 2 test team" when they last met Australia

  • SoutiePom on November 21, 2007, 11:04 GMT

    I'm still not convinced that this is even SA's best team. Andre Nel, while a fierce competitor does not measure up to Pollock, and Pollock's exclusion leaves our batting far too brittle. Kallis isn't going to go big every game, and we need to have a little more depth.

  • Craig37 on November 21, 2007, 0:58 GMT

    New Zealand's effort against South Africa was feeble, and I am being kind. It matchs their attempt to play test cricket against West Indies at the Basin Reserve in the early 1990s when they were beaten by an innings and over 200 runs. There was no application at all by any of the batsmen: they just do not how to bat sessions. However, I do not believe South Africa are all that great either. Take away the four centuries from Kallis and Amla, and perhaps the teams would be even. If South Africa were playing Australia right now, I believe that the Boks will be lucky to come a distant second. However, after this farce by the 'Dud' Caps is over, the Bangladesh team maybe in with a chance to snare a test victory.

  • Flemy on November 20, 2007, 6:49 GMT

    I Think The kiwis are in oneday mode they were really unable to swap there modes & the injuries make the also playes there part, one more thing i want to add that paps doesnot desreve a place ahaed of vincent in the first test that was also a major factor.But i m still with kiwis these things happens, good te see fleming back in the side & showing a good form. Bad start for vettori but there is nothin wrong with the captainsy the batsman lets him down. but still onedayers r left. so ope wll see the old blackcaos

    cheers The Biiggest Fan of The Blackcaps form india Anil

  • goughyz on November 20, 2007, 6:01 GMT

    I am a huge fan of New Zealand cricket, but the recent series reminded me of how far behind in test cricket we are, and it was pretty much every aspect of the game we got dominated in. Our fielding was sloppy at best, our bowling attack reminded me of club cricket, and our batting was atrocious. If the selectors are telling me that the eleven players on the pitch are the best cricketers in our country, i think we have some extremely tough times ahead. Admitedly we have been 'crippled' by injuries, but it showed exactly how vunerable we actually are, when the replacements stepped up. We rely so heavily on players like Fleming, Bond and Vettori, and if they dont play well, 90% of the time, the team doesn't play well. It was a shame that when my country of origin was playing a test match, i spent more time watching Aus vs SL. Which proved to be a far more interesting and exciting match to watch.

  • Mikey99 on November 20, 2007, 5:31 GMT

    Well, sitaram58 I think your message says much more about yourself than it does about the real state of NZ cricket.

    I remember India taking a flogging here in NZ not so long ago and receiving more gracious comments from NZ commentators. I don't think Indian cricket is so strong that you can afford to be so rude about another nation's cricketers.

  • Ross_Taylor on November 20, 2007, 1:56 GMT

    Hey Sitaram58 if India is so good why have they not beaten NZ in a test match since 1999, let alone win a test series against them?

  • fredaloisinnocent on November 20, 2007, 1:50 GMT

    As an England fan it is a change to see another team getting hammered. Seriously - NZ are disappearing back to the bad old days...one day cricket is not a route to 5-day success! Just look at India and Pakistan...dpent too much time breeding exciting "boom boom" players but failed to truly match WI of 80's and Aus of 90's and beyond. One day cricket is very exciting and refreshing from one perspective (I like to watch it) but Aus aside (as they are very different - spit!) to be good at Tests yo umust play tests - regularly - against the best. R.I.P. Sir Rich, MDC, Cairns et. al. Your boys are not being backed by Cricket NZ management - stop chasing the buck$ and let the men compete!!

  • Tristy on November 20, 2007, 0:24 GMT

    Im not convinced with South Africa yet. The way the Kiwis played i could of beaten them on my own with my eyes closed.Its disappointing to see these performances by the Kiwis, but im not surprised because they emphasise far too much on one day cricket. Their priority is one dayers and they wonder why they are getting flogged in tests. Surely there are batsmen in NZ who can bat for a couple of sessions, and if there are any, they need to get these blokes in there ASAP. Its a faulse dawn for South Africa because they can never beat the good teams. They are pretenders. I dont buy all this about Kallis either- just look at the bowling attacks (or lack of them) to see that it wouldnt have been that hard to score against. He needs to do that against the Ozzies in Australia.

  • workshy on November 19, 2007, 20:41 GMT

    It seems to me all the fans of 20/20 should take a long hard look at themselves.Is it any surprise we can't bat for two sessions given that the dot ball is anathema to most the cricket played. Fleming and vincent played there usual breezy shot filled innings but perhaps they could look at trying to play session by session and occupy the crease and leave the constant big heaves to the tail enders who in our case could do worse than take a leaf from Murali's book and close theie eyes and windmill every ball

  • Aaron_sfas on November 19, 2007, 20:39 GMT

    Looks like there are signs of life from a team that isn't Australia. I can't wait until the next time Asutralia and South Africa meet in a test. I just hope it is SA's brilliance and not just NZ's lackluster performances that won them the series. I'm sure we all remember what happened to the "world number 2 test team" when they last met Australia

  • RWood on November 19, 2007, 18:06 GMT

    A further comment I forgot: we'll soon drop below the woeful West Indies in the test rankings, and probably below Bangladesh in a couple of years. The catch-22 is now that we're weak and also distant from most other test-playing countries, so it will be very hard to find good opponents. It would almost certainly require a large injection of money and talent to fix things - unlikely!

  • RWood on November 19, 2007, 17:57 GMT

    "everhopeful" has it absolutely right. We may have punched above our weight in the 80s (home & away series victories over Australia in 86/6 !!!), but now we have been reduced to rubble, no better than in the 1950s.

  • BiltongBoerUK on November 19, 2007, 16:50 GMT

    Congrats SA!! Well done Kallis and Amla. And especially Steyn. We've been waiting for a Donald replacement for too long now!!

    BUT, this, in my eyes means very little. Beat Sri Lanka and then beat Austalia. . . then I'll say we're close to being the best.

  • sitaram58 on November 19, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    Dan

    NZ needs to play and win against Zim, BD and the West Indies. Then they MAY be invited to play against India, Pakistan and SL. As for playing more against SA, OZ and England NZ will always be considered when these teams cannot get a game against the India.

    Most boring watching you Amatuers get pulverized!!!!!

    Cheers

  • GrahamNZ on November 19, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    While NZ obviously needs a lot more test practice, it is a bit rough to say that NZ cricket in its entirety is facing huge problems. They did make the semi-finals in both world cups this year, and you can probably consider that they came "third" in both world cups (NZ and SA were both losing semi-finalist in the ODI WC, but NZ had beating SA in round two - and in the 20-20 NZ had beaten India, the team that won the whole thing). They also won the chappel-hadlee cup this year too. They actually had about 4 months of no cricket at all between the world cup and the 20-20 and then the first games they play after the 20-20 are tests against SA, their first test series this year. I think this is the real problem.

  • Vijay-Chakravarthy on November 19, 2007, 13:51 GMT

    It was disappointing to see a Newzealand side approach test cricket like that,they were woefully short of skills that is needed to play absorbing test cricket session after session,its quite a descent from the days of Sir Richard Hadlee,Crowe,Wright and Cairns.Kiwi cricket needs a good scrubbing if all the current players dont apply themselves to the task in the immediate future.

  • gechsy on November 19, 2007, 13:18 GMT

    Continuing the theme on NZ's lack of test cricket, I may have found a solution. Rather than adjust our mindset to test cricket, lets just approach each innings as for a 20-20 match - its a win-win. From the teams point of view, they seem to score higher totals in 20-20, and it would no doubt be a hit with the fans! Just imagine it, 3 overs into the 1st morning, and NZ has already amassed 47/3!

  • nazimz on November 19, 2007, 12:53 GMT

    It was a total team effort from SA who can be the next best side when it comes to test playing nations. Kudos to Steyn for his superb performance with a 10 wicket haul. I agree with Vettori that New Zealand needs to play more nation & international test matches.

  • Nige_C on November 19, 2007, 12:23 GMT

    Conrats to SA! I only wish that I could have the level of enjoyment watching cricket as those from leading cricket nations. NZ's performance was embarrassing, and what's more worrying is that there is no obvious solution to NZ's batting woes. Styris is not good enough to be number 4, and the openers seem totally out of their depth (that's three out of five underperforming!). Interestingly there is currently playing in NZ a former opener who has a test hundred to his name, but he has been overlooked for several years, his name is Matthew Bell. Also I don't think NZ can afford with such limited resources to have a test batsman with 2 double centuries to his name (Matthew Sinclair) sitting on the sidelines. Is there some conspiracy against players with the name Matthew?

  • JizzMasterZero on November 19, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    Since seeing Steyn bowl in South Africa against England - he's been someone to watch since he removed Trescothick and Vaughan's middle stumps (and as an Australian, there's no better cricketing sight than the Engalnd captain being bowled like that).

    He will be their next Allan Donald if coached correctly. Hopefully when they come to Australia in two years' time they will have developed into a decent opposition, which with the likes of Steyn they very well might.

  • AdityaRavindran on November 19, 2007, 10:03 GMT

    In my opinion NZL needs to really work on improving their test match standards. They have been pretty competent in ODI and T20 with their allrounders, but in test matches, you really need to have specialist guys and not bits and pieces of players who do a little batting and a little bowling. They would really need to bring in specialists to improve their game and as Vettori pointed out, they need to play more test matches to maintain the standard.

  • Paul-NZ on November 19, 2007, 8:34 GMT

    The Black Caps were woeful in all departments in this series. The excuses of a lack of recent test experience and lack of depth are factual, but far from valid. Heads must roll, and undoubtedly the first must be Bracewell, followed swiftly by Hadlee. Highly questionable selections have plagued the Black Caps lineups for too long.

    A solitary 50 from the entire team in four innings is simply inexcusable. And with the exception of a few spells, the bowling was loose and not in the least bit threatening. Also, the couple of really amateur looking dropped catches were incredibly embarrassing.

    In saying that, I take nothing away from South Africa, they displayed a clinical performance worthy of praise. Kallis has truly stamped his mark over the years as a formidable batsman that will simply crush a lackluster attack such as the Black Caps'. They have a fast, penetrative and accurate pace attack and are enthusiastic in the field. Congratulations.

    We will be lucky to beat the Bangladeshis.

  • LaoTzu on November 19, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    SA were very good, but not superb. We thoroughly beat an inexperienced and injury-wracked New Zealand side on pitches designed to suit our bowlers. It was an impressive and absolute win, to be sure, especially the innings victory, but not truly awe-inspiring. It was great to see Steyn ripping it up (now he needs to do it away from home!) and Amla cementing the #3 spot (ditto). Kallis was more of his inimitable same. Had he failed (had that miscued drive played on in the second test) the lower middle order seems a little too fragile. NZ are now in 7th place worldwide - hardly top opposition, especially as they lacked test experience and many of their first choices (incl. Bond). On this performance we would probably have narrowly beaten England, and still lost to Australia. Graeme Smith needs to find form; Gibbs needs to start moving his feet (again). A deserved round of applause, but no standing ovations.

  • Brendanvio on November 19, 2007, 2:58 GMT

    Vettori raises a valid point- NZ aren't playing enough test cricket. As a result they are underdone when coming into series against strong teams like SA. Another issue is the fact they just don't have the cattle on the park. They have not had a consistent opening batsman since Mark Richardson retired. Fleming was the only consistent (And I use the term loosely here) batsman, and their bowling was tame, especially without Bond.

    You just can't win tests without a few good players, which is what South africa did have. They wern't flawless, but they bowled brilliantly. And Kallis exploited a poor bowling attack to notch up two good centuries. Hopefully SA keep improving, they need to be as consistent as possible if they want to match it with teams like India, England and especially Australia.

  • everhopeful on November 18, 2007, 22:50 GMT

    To do a "Snedden" is a new verb that will soon be included in all New Zealand dictionaries. When one does a "Snedden" one gambles the family farm on one single-minded objective, fails at that objective and then leaves before the chickens come home to find there is no roost. Martin Snedden, the much lauded former New Zealand cricket administrator is entirely to blame. He set the objective of winning the one day world cup; gave up test cricket entirely; introduced new "man-management" practices which effectively badgered our experienced talent out of the team before they were ready to retire; and then left a hero to go and run the rugby world cup. When you have such thin resources as New Zealand cricket this was a foolhardy strategy that could set us back five to ten years. Poor Vettori.

  • Chris_SA on November 18, 2007, 20:46 GMT

    As a South African it is an obvious comfort to see the results of the NZ series swinging so dramatically in our favour. However, it is also a 'concern' to me that a single batsman (Kallis) scores about 35% of the total runs in the series, and a single bowler (Steyn) takes >50% of the wickets. When you combine that with 1x missing Bond, one just has to wonder if it is a victory perhaps not quite as emphatic as the run-tally suggests?

    Please dont get me wrong, Amla was a star (finally), and Kallis and Steyn produced world #1 performances, but I think we need to be careful to jump for joy with our newly-found 3rd place test ranking. We have what is perhaps a soft test series coming up against the Windies (no disrespect intended), and that is likely to fuel our "we are on an upward roll" feeling. That is great, and I love it, but we also need to keep perspective and make sure we do not get too self-assured, because 1 or 2 players do not make a team that can create a legacy.

  • Cricketlord on November 18, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    I think it was an excellent team performance by SA.They got their act togtheer and performed to a plan.They outdid NZ in all the departments. NZ could find no answer to Kallis,Steyn and Amla.SA were simply superb. NZ on the other hand were no match for their opponents.Their batting was extremely poor(they couln't even cross 200).Except Fleming no one else was up to Scratch.NZ need to bowl and bat to a plan.They have got a lot of work to do before the ODIs and need to create a stong bench strength.

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  • Cricketlord on November 18, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    I think it was an excellent team performance by SA.They got their act togtheer and performed to a plan.They outdid NZ in all the departments. NZ could find no answer to Kallis,Steyn and Amla.SA were simply superb. NZ on the other hand were no match for their opponents.Their batting was extremely poor(they couln't even cross 200).Except Fleming no one else was up to Scratch.NZ need to bowl and bat to a plan.They have got a lot of work to do before the ODIs and need to create a stong bench strength.

  • Chris_SA on November 18, 2007, 20:46 GMT

    As a South African it is an obvious comfort to see the results of the NZ series swinging so dramatically in our favour. However, it is also a 'concern' to me that a single batsman (Kallis) scores about 35% of the total runs in the series, and a single bowler (Steyn) takes >50% of the wickets. When you combine that with 1x missing Bond, one just has to wonder if it is a victory perhaps not quite as emphatic as the run-tally suggests?

    Please dont get me wrong, Amla was a star (finally), and Kallis and Steyn produced world #1 performances, but I think we need to be careful to jump for joy with our newly-found 3rd place test ranking. We have what is perhaps a soft test series coming up against the Windies (no disrespect intended), and that is likely to fuel our "we are on an upward roll" feeling. That is great, and I love it, but we also need to keep perspective and make sure we do not get too self-assured, because 1 or 2 players do not make a team that can create a legacy.

  • everhopeful on November 18, 2007, 22:50 GMT

    To do a "Snedden" is a new verb that will soon be included in all New Zealand dictionaries. When one does a "Snedden" one gambles the family farm on one single-minded objective, fails at that objective and then leaves before the chickens come home to find there is no roost. Martin Snedden, the much lauded former New Zealand cricket administrator is entirely to blame. He set the objective of winning the one day world cup; gave up test cricket entirely; introduced new "man-management" practices which effectively badgered our experienced talent out of the team before they were ready to retire; and then left a hero to go and run the rugby world cup. When you have such thin resources as New Zealand cricket this was a foolhardy strategy that could set us back five to ten years. Poor Vettori.

  • Brendanvio on November 19, 2007, 2:58 GMT

    Vettori raises a valid point- NZ aren't playing enough test cricket. As a result they are underdone when coming into series against strong teams like SA. Another issue is the fact they just don't have the cattle on the park. They have not had a consistent opening batsman since Mark Richardson retired. Fleming was the only consistent (And I use the term loosely here) batsman, and their bowling was tame, especially without Bond.

    You just can't win tests without a few good players, which is what South africa did have. They wern't flawless, but they bowled brilliantly. And Kallis exploited a poor bowling attack to notch up two good centuries. Hopefully SA keep improving, they need to be as consistent as possible if they want to match it with teams like India, England and especially Australia.

  • LaoTzu on November 19, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    SA were very good, but not superb. We thoroughly beat an inexperienced and injury-wracked New Zealand side on pitches designed to suit our bowlers. It was an impressive and absolute win, to be sure, especially the innings victory, but not truly awe-inspiring. It was great to see Steyn ripping it up (now he needs to do it away from home!) and Amla cementing the #3 spot (ditto). Kallis was more of his inimitable same. Had he failed (had that miscued drive played on in the second test) the lower middle order seems a little too fragile. NZ are now in 7th place worldwide - hardly top opposition, especially as they lacked test experience and many of their first choices (incl. Bond). On this performance we would probably have narrowly beaten England, and still lost to Australia. Graeme Smith needs to find form; Gibbs needs to start moving his feet (again). A deserved round of applause, but no standing ovations.

  • Paul-NZ on November 19, 2007, 8:34 GMT

    The Black Caps were woeful in all departments in this series. The excuses of a lack of recent test experience and lack of depth are factual, but far from valid. Heads must roll, and undoubtedly the first must be Bracewell, followed swiftly by Hadlee. Highly questionable selections have plagued the Black Caps lineups for too long.

    A solitary 50 from the entire team in four innings is simply inexcusable. And with the exception of a few spells, the bowling was loose and not in the least bit threatening. Also, the couple of really amateur looking dropped catches were incredibly embarrassing.

    In saying that, I take nothing away from South Africa, they displayed a clinical performance worthy of praise. Kallis has truly stamped his mark over the years as a formidable batsman that will simply crush a lackluster attack such as the Black Caps'. They have a fast, penetrative and accurate pace attack and are enthusiastic in the field. Congratulations.

    We will be lucky to beat the Bangladeshis.

  • AdityaRavindran on November 19, 2007, 10:03 GMT

    In my opinion NZL needs to really work on improving their test match standards. They have been pretty competent in ODI and T20 with their allrounders, but in test matches, you really need to have specialist guys and not bits and pieces of players who do a little batting and a little bowling. They would really need to bring in specialists to improve their game and as Vettori pointed out, they need to play more test matches to maintain the standard.

  • JizzMasterZero on November 19, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    Since seeing Steyn bowl in South Africa against England - he's been someone to watch since he removed Trescothick and Vaughan's middle stumps (and as an Australian, there's no better cricketing sight than the Engalnd captain being bowled like that).

    He will be their next Allan Donald if coached correctly. Hopefully when they come to Australia in two years' time they will have developed into a decent opposition, which with the likes of Steyn they very well might.

  • Nige_C on November 19, 2007, 12:23 GMT

    Conrats to SA! I only wish that I could have the level of enjoyment watching cricket as those from leading cricket nations. NZ's performance was embarrassing, and what's more worrying is that there is no obvious solution to NZ's batting woes. Styris is not good enough to be number 4, and the openers seem totally out of their depth (that's three out of five underperforming!). Interestingly there is currently playing in NZ a former opener who has a test hundred to his name, but he has been overlooked for several years, his name is Matthew Bell. Also I don't think NZ can afford with such limited resources to have a test batsman with 2 double centuries to his name (Matthew Sinclair) sitting on the sidelines. Is there some conspiracy against players with the name Matthew?

  • nazimz on November 19, 2007, 12:53 GMT

    It was a total team effort from SA who can be the next best side when it comes to test playing nations. Kudos to Steyn for his superb performance with a 10 wicket haul. I agree with Vettori that New Zealand needs to play more nation & international test matches.