New Zealand has produced some quality T20 cricketers over time, but it hasn’t translated to success in the T20 World Cup.
What a debacle the Black Caps tour of Australia was. First, let’s look back at the three units of cricket.
The Black Caps bowling unit did well in the face of injuries. Trent Boult bowled well when fit, Tim Southee was dependable as ever and threatening at times, Colin de Grandhomme again was on point and Neil Wagner once again proved he is on his way to being a New Zealand great.
Lockie Ferguson was average before the injury. The only bowler to let himself down was Mitch Santner, but many of us in NZ have known for a while that he’s not a Test match spinner.
Pretty good. BJ Watling was tidy has ever, and ground fielding was on point. There were some dropped catches, but on balance it was pretty even.
Abysmal. Horrible. Pointless. Wasteful.
The only one who got a pass mark was Tom Blundell, only because he was on debut and coming in at the last minute.
These batsmen have done a lot over the last five years, showing a lot of heart and determination. But where did it go?
Now let’s look at the batsmen one by one.
Jeet Ravel was out of form, but played too many shots outside off stump that weren’t there at the start of his career.
Tom Latham. Solid technique, patience and temperament normally, but he went chasing bowlers rather than being patient.
Kane Williamson looks tired, flashing outside the line more than ever. Maybe he needs a break?
Ross Taylor. Not sure what happened here. Bad tour for him.
Henry Nicholls was put in a bad situation at the World Cup coming back from injury. He never gained form and his suspect starts caught up with him.
Colin de Grandhomme didn’t have a good series but he is maturing into a solid batting option. There were signs of him tailoring his innings to suit the situation.
When all else fails, rely on BJ Watling. Except this series. He still faced a decent amount of balls compared to most.
Mitchell Santner. No. It must end. He is not a Test match player. White-ball cricket, sure, but he doesn’t offer enough with the bat to justify his place in the Test side. He is a poor man’s Daniel Vettori.
The bowlers don’t matter. Batting is not their job. Runs are bonus territory at this point.
Overall, the only ones who showed up for the NZ batting innings were the Kiwis in the crowd. I’d like to say sorry. After waiting so long and performing above expectations to earn this chance, they should have done better.
I hate to say it, but sorry Australia for a below-average series. It should have been great but it wasn’t.
Ah well, at least you fellas got to throw an All Black out for sculling half a beer.