New Zealand in South Africa 2012-13

New Zealand train while South Africa tan

Firdose Moonda in Cape Town

January 5, 2013

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Dean Brownlie plays the pull, South Africa v New Zealand, 1st Test, Cape Town, 3rd day, January 4, 2013
New Zealand's batsmen, lead by Dean Brownlie, were considerably better in their second innings at Newlands © Getty Images

While South Africa's squad dispersed hours after completing their innings victory at Newlands and will enjoy three days off, New Zealand are not taking any breaks before for the second Test. They have practices planned for both days of the weekend which would have spent playing Test cricket had the match not ended before tea on Friday.

"It's important to feel the pulse of the group and find out what's required in terms of training because quite a mental toll gets taken on you when you play a Test match," Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, said after defeat. "There are times when you need to get straight back on the horse and other times when you need to have a little bit of reflection."

Team management decided to put the emotion aside and concentrate on the former, despite a feeling of embarrassment and shock still running deep in their squad. McCullum used the word "hurt," at least four times when discussing how his players felt. That is unsurprising given that they lost the match in an hour and 40 minutes on the first morning when they were bowled out for 45.

New Zealand had seven sessions after that to digest what they had done and claw back respect. They managed to do a bit of both. McCullum is adamant that they cannot forget about being dismissed in less than 20 overs in a Test because the memory of that will help them avoid repeating it. But he also recognises that the team has to move on quickly because another challenge awaits.

For them to do that, they have focus on how they improved as the match went on and how they can continue to perform at the level they did on days two and three. "The way we responded with the ball on the second day and then to get to 169 for 4 was a remarkable improvement from the previous day," McCullum said. "We've seen some ways where we can be successful against South Africa if we do those hard yards upfront."

It helped that New Zealand's bowlers were able to exploit the movement on offer on the second morning. They also adjusted their lengths accordingly after they were guilty of inconsistency as they chased the game on the first afternoon. McCullum hinted that there will be some changes to the attack.

Chris Martin's three-wicket return may not justify replacing him but the suggestion is that Neil Wagner, another left-arm quick, will play in Port Elizabeth. Only if New Zealand are feeling particularly brave will they gamble on the rookie left-armer, Mitchell McClenaghan. Their spinner is also a cause for concern. Jeetan Patel was ineffective with the ball and comically bad with the bat. Bruce Martin, a left-arm spinner, has been taking wickets domestically and could come into contention for that spot.

One thing McCullum confirmed is that the batting, albeit the main problem, will not be tinkered with. That is partly because New Zealand do not have too many options. Colin Munro is the only reserve batsman on tour so the same top six will front up in the second Test. "They deserve an opportunity again especially since we can see some improvements," McCullum said.

In the second innings, New Zealand's line-up, bar Martin Guptill, moved their feet better, chose their shots more selectively and showed better temperament which included more patience and less hot-headed, ill-thought out aggression. By doing that, they bored South Africa's bowlers somewhat.

The evening session on day two saw the South Africa quicks drift. They expected New Zealand to struggle against the short ball but they didn't get the length exactly right and when they tried to go fuller and induce an edge, they gave away runs. According to McCullum that was how New Zealand transferred some of the pressure back to South Africa.

"We were able to implement a better defensive strategy against them which helped us absorb the pressure a little better. Once we were able to do that, we were also able to put some pressure back on to them. There are some encouraging signs," he said. "Those are some areas where we can walk away saying that if we continue to nail them that will give us a far better performance but we have to do that across the entire game rather than only the second innings."

New Zealand's focus over the next two days will be on how to improve their consistency and play more like they did in the second innings more often. That may take longer than two days to perfect, but they have to start somewhere.

Monday will be reserved for playing in a Jacques Kallis charity golf tournament, where the proceeds will go to his scholarship foundation. However, do not be surprised if New Zealand sneak in a net session too. They will travel to Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, as will the South African squad, who will meet up a day earlier than scheduled.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (January 8, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

@LillianThomson - The use of the term "horror" is not appropriate when talking about Apartheid which was no worse than what the English did to the Irish or the Indian caste-system. Yet I doubt you will use that word to describe those situations. Typical lefty looking to score easy social points. Stick to cricket dude.

Posted by SameOld on (January 7, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

Munro and Bruce Martin should get a game. Tough to debut in these circumstances, but that's Test cricket. Patel and Franklin have used up yet another chance each over the past few months, and both have contributed very little. If not Munro or Wagner, I hope they at least play Bruce Martin. NZ need to trial the left-arm spinner before they face England, who have struggled against this type of bowler recently. Martin could not possibly bat or field as poorly as Patel or Phantom, and Franklin has become a no-rounder: Useless with both bat AND ball. And for the sake of pity, Baz, BOWL FIRST!

Posted by nicolab1973 on (January 7, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

@LillianThomson The same should really then apply to the All Black rugby team as well?! Remember, this was only the first test. I recall that Australia was also bowled out by more-or-less the same team, for only a little more (at the same ground), just over a year ago. Immediately afterwards, Smith and Amla both responded with unbeaten centuries. These things happen in test cricket. NZ players can beat SA. In fact, a high school 2nd team can beat the World Nr1's. It just depends on who wants it most!

Posted by dalboy12 on (January 7, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

I think it needs to be said that they didn't "not" select Ryder or Taylor both of those players made themselves unavailable. I hope they do make a few changes -- Wagner for Chris Martin, Bruce Martin for Patel. Personally i would be tempted to give Munro a go for Franklin, but they probably want him to bowl a few overs - Franklin is one player who they really need to start showing some potential. He is meant to be first and for most a batsman yet his average is 20 - another is Guptil whose average is only just 30. Both especially Guptil have potential but if they are not going to start scoring soon - then give someone else a go. You can't keep selecting on potential and odd 20/20 score.

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 7, 2013, 2:21 GMT)

It's a frustrating time to be a New Zealand cricket lover.

On the one hand, South Africa is a well-run, professional outfit. Meanwhile New Zealand suffers the worst imaginable cricket administration, which turns out a team of technically-flawed minnows and leaves what few top-class players it has at home.

But in New Zealand, cricket is the summer game for 4.45 million people. Whereas at the risk of being crass about Apartheid's horrors, the white population of South Africa is 4.59 million.

But the gulf between the two is vast. Now of course part of this is because currently 3 or 4 non-white South Africans are making a significant contribution to their national team. But you could probably pick both a "white" and "non-white" eleven capable of splattering New Zealand.

But it is still absurd and outrageous that with similar population bases in terms of active participation in cricket we have South Africa as a cricketing superpower and New Zealand as a third-rate minnow.

Posted by Gt500 on (January 7, 2013, 1:17 GMT)

King Kallis needs only 4 more sixes to become the record holder for the MOST SIXES in TEST CRICKET HISTORY...... The rest from the ODI series will freshen him up for the Pakistan Test series.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 6, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

I think the Kiwi fans are being a little too crictical. Granted the 45 all out was poor but the 2nd innings was solid. Need to keep things in perspective, they have lost 2 good players to politics and they are playing the best team in the world in their own backyard. Lets not forget the kiwis drew a series in Australia recently 1-1, so these calls of dropping them from the test circuit are nonsense.

Posted by m.marshalldgreatest on (January 6, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

Net sessions will help but it will not change things drastically for the Kiwi batsmen over the next week. Mark Richardson wrote in the NZ Herald stating that Kiwi batsmen lack the skills to bat first on a test pitch against a high quality pace attack. The problem is that batting last is not easy as well!

Posted by gazza07 on (January 6, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

Poor Poor management from NZ Cricket has got them in this predicament. It is about time some heads should roll. NZ cannot afford to have their best players of "International" quality sitting at home while their team is getting thumped.

Posted by ReverseSwingMaster on (January 6, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

As we predicted earlier that this will be going to happen against NZ so, nothing new. By not selecting RYDER and kicking out TAYLOR is the biggest mistake they have done. They should not forgive this and sack these senior members of the cricket board specially the coach. Further more drop GUPTILL from the test squad forever. To NZ fans where is a person name, something like this "Grant Elliot".

Posted by   on (January 6, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

The problem for NZ is they are facing SOUTH AFRICA, who rattled everyone before coming in this series, especially test match. They[SA] played very hard and tough cricket in Australia and coming to 1st test match they showed what they learnt. I Wonder if the catch was not spilled down, how much the NZ would have made in second innings. For NZ though, they not only facing SOUTH AFRICA but also their own problem, sacking ROSS TAYLOR from captaincy was a major blow which resulted in forbidding the series. They lack performance rather than the squad. It applies not only to the first XI but to whole squad starting from the B. Macculum. Rather than Result, performance is much important for NZ and after that, sensing victory, otherwise, the second test match will be no different.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

@straighthit you realise of course that New Zealand has had a drawn series away to two of those 1st tier nations in the last 14 months, and almost won the 2nd mach against India also. I didn't hear such cries when the same bowler, on the same ground, did the same thing to a different team just over a year ago...

Posted by pt_pt on (January 6, 2013, 2:49 GMT)

Drop Franklin and Patel for the next test, they are offering nothing in the team and are in poor form. Would like to see Munro and B Martin/ McClenaghan have go.

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 6, 2013, 2:34 GMT)

No amount of practice can change the fact that a country with a very limited talent pool is being held hostage by management which has presided over the best two batsmen - Taylor and Ryder - being left at home.

It is incredibly disappointing that at home in NZ no major public figures apart from Martin Crowe have publically held New Zealand Cricket responsible for this self-inflicted disaster.

At full-strength, New Zealand can call upon 2 international class batsmen (Taylor and Ryder) supported by a couple of inconsistent big-hitters (McCullum and Guptill), a promising youngster (Williamson) and a hard-working journeyman (Brownlie).

But take away the two international class batsmen and all you have left is roadkill.

Posted by Lermy on (January 6, 2013, 2:13 GMT)

Putting the emotion aside, NZ just isn't up to test cricket and this type of one sided disgrace does no good for cricket in either country. People in major test playing countries aren't interested in watching sides like NZ play, anymore than people flock to watch Bangladesh. And in all honesty even NZ fans aren't interested in watching their own side. Our cricket side is now a national laughing stock. No one wants to watch the black caps getting thumped by everyone, apart from the odd test victory once every 30 years. NZ should disband the national side and let the odd talented player chase an IPL contract. At least then we might see NZ players on the winning side occasionally.

Posted by Robster1 on (January 6, 2013, 1:56 GMT)

Chris Martin and McClenaghan must play in PE.

Posted by CricketChat on (January 5, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

@CricketingStargazer: Excellent analysis of NZ's predicament. I also agree with your assessment that the only feasible option is ICC funding foreign tours for 'A' sides. I doubt if that will happen because ICC invests lot more for associate nation's development rather teams in top league. NZ must lure more sponsors to support their cricket. The other option is to create 2 league system that was discussed about (me included) some time ago at this site. Ind, SL, Eng, Aus, Pak and SA in Tier-1 while BD, NZ, WI and Zim in Tier -2. At least that way, we will have meaningful competition and expectations. The present unequal competition will only lead demise of test cricket as true cricket fans love to watch and follow.

Posted by Glenn10 on (January 5, 2013, 22:36 GMT)

I couldn't agree more with Mike Patrick. Your either a bowling alrounder or a batting alrounder. Franklin is neither which was exposed in this game. He is half skilled at both. At least Munro would be considered a batting allrounder. Flynn is the other one who will not survive test cricket past this tour. A test average of less than 30 (and dropping after this last test) is simply not good enough. The article above states its a gamble to go with McClenaghan. Surely he will have more purpose in his bowling to old man Martin. Wagner is a meduim pacer with poor ball release meaning he can't swing the ball. He's just more of the same. Bruce Martin is a must and he can bat a bit. I have been saying this for days now and finally the journo's are now on the band wagon. Patel was an embarrassment and clearly doesn't have the right stuff. What have the selectors got to lose. either way we'll probably get beaten, but we will have blooded three new players which might be handy come March.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (January 5, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

@kangaroussy That sounds like a good idea to me. Isn't the Plunkett Shield only played over a few weeks anyway? The important thing is to get the players one level below the Test side getting to learn in foreign conditions and by playing tougher opposition on a regular basis. The trans-Tasman rivalry will also give it intensity.

Posted by camirapaul on (January 5, 2013, 21:59 GMT)

Guptill/McCullum/Williamson/Flynn/Brownlie/Munro/Watling/Bracewell/Wagner/Boult/McClenaghan. My 2nd test team. Guptill keeps his spot as we dot have an opening option. Munro for Franklyn who does not do the job he was selected for. Wagner for Patel who does not justify hos spot. McClenagahan for Martin(great player but at 38 time for new blood) and you simply cannot go into a test with 10 batters. Why not give this team a go what have we got to lose.

Posted by mcsdl on (January 5, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

Why humiliate Kiwis even further with this sort of articles.. We all know Kiwis need more than training, sweat, tears to beat Proteas in their own back yard.. Why not just leave it there than trying to make head-lines out of nothing..!

Posted by sirviv on (January 5, 2013, 21:30 GMT)

This is good news that NZ are preparing hard for the next Test. Not too concerned for SA though, as the next two days are still day 4 and 5 of the first test match. So I guess they can celebrate it any which way they want

Posted by kangaroussy on (January 5, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

@cricketingStargazer, I completely agree that NZ should field a team in the Sheffield Shield. The risk, if is a composite team, which could pretty much compromise the less senior Test players and the best of the rest, that your domestic league be diluted further in quality. I think it would be fair enough for the ICC to pay the cost of getting the team to Oz for matches, as it would be a solid investment in getting NZ cricket back to where it was in the golden era.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 21:17 GMT)

I don't understand why they persist with Franklin, he is deadweight. He only picked up Amla because Amla moved way across his stumps out of character. He has offered nothing with the bat, and is a very tame bowler. Give Colin Munro a shot, he averages 58 with the bat! He hit a massive double hundred earlier this season and he also averages 31 with his right arm pace, so he is better than Franklin in all aspects, as well as only being 25!. It will bolster our poor batting and still give us a 4th seamer.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 20:31 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa i agreed with ur comment but i want to see captain GM in his full form making double hundred,

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (January 5, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

@Giovaughn Wilson New Zealand were so awful on the first day that I sincerely believe that if Graeme Smith had declared with a lead around 150 on the first evening they would have had a real chance of finishing the match in one day by asking for the extra half hour. Certainly, by batting on, South Africa relaxed a lot and New Zealand got a little confidence from it but, as we saw, as soon as the level was upped again, the last 6 wickets fell in a heap, for just 41. Playing with that level of intensity against shell-shocked opposition, it really could have finished on the first day.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 5, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

Dont know why the boys are catching rays on the beach instead of learning how to not throw your wicket away when you are in your 60's.... (amla, kallis and AB). We are only playing 9 test matches this year - make them count!

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

am i the only 1 who believes that had Smith declared overnight after day 1 & deprived kiwi's of the lift they got from their improved bowling on day 2 while allowing steyn & co to make use of the more helpful conditions on the 2nd morning the match would have more than likely been over before day 3?

There is very little that can be done about the batting order except maybe moving Kane to opening batsman so i would recommend dropping the spinner for another quickie. Patel is virtually useless against such a strong Protean batting lineup. Hopefully if Bazz win's the toss this time around he will not leave his common sense & humility behind in the dressing room & decide to bowl 1st.

Posted by D-Ascendant on (January 5, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

New Zealand are gradually improving by the day. 45 all out was followed by 270. This means that in the next Test at PE, they are definitely going to score 505.


Posted by Shridharan.S on (January 5, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

Martin Guptill should take over the captaincy form Brendon McCullum.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

First up NZ need a decent opener that is going to hang around for a while. Guptill is great @ T20 but not sure he has the temperament for opening bastsman. Is there a Mark Richardson-type out there? Play in the V, leave everything else alone. Watling showed that there is mileage in playing like this.

I'd keep Guptill but place him in later on. Bowling-wise Patel was terrible in both aspects. No need for him in the team anymore.

McCullaum/Watling/Williamson/Guptill/Brownlie/Flynn/Franklin/Boult/Bracewell/ someone other than Patel/Wagner

Posted by RichDeGroen on (January 5, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

I wanted to see us get hammered, just to rub Hesson and McCullums' noses in it, to make it impossible for the administrators of the game to run and hide any more. Now that its happened though I just feel ripped off. The ethic in the team has been so, so bad for so, so long, and it is epitomised by McCullum's approach to the game. It's not confidence and aggression - it's just completely delusional. Until the hunger to scrap and compete every inch through a test match is instilled in these guys there is no hope. They believe in their own fantasy that they are talented players. They are not talented. They are massively deficient. There is a lot of work to do and they are not, in their hearts, up for the challenge. McCullums entire 70+ test career is a testament to that - sustained failure to cope at the top level, with no improvement and no accountability. And now he's the captain... I don't think we've even hit rock bottom yet.

Posted by Nuxxy on (January 5, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

Part of me wonders if South Africa's lethargy wasn't a ploy. New Zealand now have their hopes up because they reached 275 in the second innings, forgetting that for most of that SA were well below par.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (January 5, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

@StraightHit New Zealand's talent pool has always been thin, hence they played only 3-day Tests for many years and it took so many years and so many Tests for them finally to win one. Withdrawing though is not the solution. In part their golden era in the 70s to early 00s was due to some of their best players such as Glenn Turner and Richard Hadlee playing a lot of county cricket in England and gaining massive experience from it to add to their talent. That path is now, at least partially, closed. Due to the isolation of the country it has always been hard for them to get teams to tour, so getting more cricket at home is tough. One solution may be to send A sides to Australia, Asia and England and play State and county opposition regularly, although that policy is rather costly to maintain and cricket doesn't generate income for the Board. However, if the ICC is serious about maintaining standards and spreading cricket around the world, it needs to support such initiatives.

Posted by on (January 5, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

NZ at the moment doesn't have international class batsmen (except kane williamson who is still learning and ross taylor who is no longer in the team) , so good luck they will need it against SA attack

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

Lemme get this right. Batsmen are bowled out for 45 in 20 overs and bowlers are getting dropped? How intresting

Posted by   on (January 5, 2013, 13:16 GMT)

Where is the experience that they need to face up to an attack like South Africa. If McCullum thinks the likes of Brownlie, Guptill and himself can take it to the proteas, well he is far far from the truth.

Posted by CricketChat on (January 5, 2013, 13:12 GMT)

NZ's talent pool seems terribly bare. When you play J Franklin who can't justify a place either as a batsmen/bowler or even an all rounder, you can't expect much. The only two players who can walk into the test team, Taylor and Southee, are out. NZ must strengthen their first class standards to compete in tests. Otherwise, they should withdraw from tests like Zim did a few years ago.

Posted by shortsillypoint on (January 5, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

They need to bat in the nets with lots of short pitched bowling - seems that's what SA bowlers are determined to do as much as possible. The two bouncers per over now plays into the hands of fast bowlers.

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