Black Caps Roll South Africa in First Test

Come on, that’ll never happen. Twitter was alive with messages of support (cough) for our top cricketers underachieving overpaid amateurs, getting annihilated in the first innings 45 all out. NZ Cricket is going from one disaster to another. At least some entertainment has been extracted from this farce.

Capturedhehehblakc craps


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  • In Vino Veritas

    Attacking cricket can be played by a players that are good. Attritional cricket can be played by players with some balls.

  • bristol

    Just like New Zealand Tennis. IMHO it’s not the players, it’s a management problem.

    • Bunswalla

      Early contender for Stupid Comment of the Year. To be fair, it’ll take some beating.

      • Pita

        “Individual responsibility doesn’t come into it…it’s society’s problem” isn’t that how we deal with all our problems?

        The loss is not important…the team just didn’t achieve.

  • Ronnie Chow

    “The leadership has been poor in the past, but the fish head couldn’t smell any worse now. From the chairman to the CEO to the coach to the manager, they have all played their collective part in what is arguably the most botched administration in New Zealand sporting history.”

    Martin Crowe

    • Gazzaw

      Well said Marty. It’s the administration that is at the core of the problem. Its well past the time to dismantle the cricketocracy that has controlled the sport for far too long.

      Now is the time for McCullum to show whether he really has what it takes to be captain of this side. He has a team of raw young talent that is in way over its depth, is totally dispirited and it will take some rare leadership skills on and off the field to bring them through the tour. It’s not too early though to start a complete review of NZ Cricket and a total cleanout from top to bottom.

  • thor42

    I was going to say that this must be a world-record lowest score in a Test, but nope – we already hold that (26 runs).

    Anyway – no surprise at all.

    Scrap all of cricket’s funding and give it to basketball (which IIRC doesn’t have *any* funding at the moment.)

    At least that’s a sport on the rise here, and we even won the world youth 3-on-3 champs not long ago.

    • Greg

      Agreed ‘No Results NO FUNDING’. Its that simple.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Sheep has congratulated Black Caps for their efforts.

  • Travis Poulson

    Like teachers, I’m sure they’d do better under a performance pay model. Luckily the taxpayer doesn’t fund the Slack Caps.

    • Jester

      Isn’t NZ Cricket partially funded by public money? I could be wrong though.

      • Travis Poulson

        No, they aren’t.

        New Zealand Cricket derives most of its revenue from the sale of two types of broadcasting rights.

        1.Broadcasting rights to home internationals.

        2.A share of the broadcasting rights the ICC sells to its tournaments, such as the World Cup.

        Host nations pick up all the expenses of touring teams, but get sole access to all broadcast rights and gate receipts.

  • Hekia for Black Caps coach. They won’t do any better, but at least they’ll be dressed nicely.

  • Phar Lap

    Lest we forget in 2011 ,the Aussies with all their stars,Clark as captain,at the same venue as NZ.Were 9 wickets down for 21 RUNS.They limped through to 47RUNS all out.

    • Still two more than our losers managed…

  • dotcom

    NZ darts players do their best at playing darts. NZers say well done.
    NZ hockey players do their best at playing hockey. NZers say well done.
    NZ tennis players do their best at playing tennis. NZers say well done.
    NZ cricket players do do their best at playing cricket. NZers say hang them up by their scrota.

    • thor42

      Big difference there, dotcom.

      For a start, no-one cares about those other sports, so success isn’t expected (and when it does come, it’s a bonus).

      I’ll bet that there probably isn’t a single Slack Cap who remembers the story of one of our batsmen who was injured (playing against S.A.), who had his fiancee killed in the Tangiwai disaster (the previous night), but who STILL went out to bat (with his head bandaged) at no. 11. He played a gutsy innings and got a standing ovation when he was eventually dismissed. Fat chance of that kind of character with today’s rabble.

      I support sports with people who play with GUTS and with pride. Basketball epitomises that – they make do on the smell of an oily rag, but they still manage to do amazingly well.

      Our cricketers are a pathetic rabble and deserve every bit of criticism they get. They NEVER learn.

      Always the same nonsense trotted out after an innings “Oh, we’re gutted, blah blah blah….”

      Yeah, right – whatever……

      • Kimbo

        You are confusing the two batsmen concerned (Bert Sutcliffe was the one hit in the head, as also were about 3 others that day, while bowler Bob Blair was the one whose fiancee had died), but the rest of what you have to say of Boxing Day 1953 is right: –

        Mind you, it was just a year later that many of those players were in the NZ team that was bowled out for 26 (against a very great English bowling attack, but still pathetic).

        Difference then was that NZ batsmen didn’t have the up-skilling, coaching, opportunities, facilities (especially pitches), or MONEY to make a better go of it. They truly were plucky amateurs playing against professional Englishmen, West Indians who regarded cricket as their national sport, or enduring illness and deprivation playing in Pakistan or India. The Aussies probably had us right, and didn’t even bother to play us.

        Fast forward to 2013 – these guys, with the new skipper, installed there courtesy of the new coach have so much more opportunity.

        And when it all goes horribly wrong because of selfish decisions, we get management-speak trotting out the clichés

      • dotcom

        Okay, then stop following NZ cricket if they lack guts. Walk off. Follow NZ softball instead. There are some guys with guts. Talk about shoestrings. The Blacksox are the shoestring Allblacks.

  • Dumrse

    The “Black Caps” should relinquish their national “Black” status until such time as they can sort their sh!t out. Back to school, back to the nets, see you next season.

    • thor42

      I agree.

      I think there should be a two-tier system in place for world cricket. The top tier would be SA, England, Aussie, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Windies.

      The other tier would be Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, NZ and maybe one or two other places.
      Even with that opposition, we’d still struggle (having lost a series to Bangladesh not long ago….).

      • Teletubby

        There already effectively is, none of the larger nations want to waste too many summer days hosting 3 day tests that fail to attract crowds after day one so us and the other tier 2 nations only get a two test series when we are touring. If it wasn’t for the tier one sides having to meet the commitments they made under the future tours program they probably wouldn’t play us at all

  • rightoverlabour

    As an ex Saffa, I can’t see the problem here….But seriously, NZ cricket need to sort their problems. My NZ kids are all supporters of these clowns.

  • Teletubby

    You can sack as many board members, coaches and captains as you want, none of it is going to change the fact that none of our batsmen can’t play test cricket because they so rarely get to play at first class level. They are mostly either playing short form at domestic and international or test matches. How are they supposed to maintain and improve the skills and techniques required for test cricket if they never practice their craft. Unfortunately it is going to get worse because as far as I know the majority of schoolboy cricket is short form focused as well so a quick fifty is considered far more important to our developing players than occupying the crease and grafting the teams way out of trouble

    • Bunswalla

      School cricket has always been focused on the short forms – there’s no time to do otherwise. I agree that the SAffers are more experienced, but it’s wrong to say that the Black Craps don’t play much first-class cricket.

      The team currently playing, if that’s the right word, has a total of 955 first class games between them, an average of over 86 each. That’s plenty of time to practice your craft – providing you have some craft to begin with.

      We just don’t have the raw material i.e. talent in enough numbers and depth to challenge any of the top 5 or 6 test-playing nations on a consistent basis. Certainly the mis-management of NZC is of staggering proportions, but the old saw about silk purses and sow’s ears still holds true. We’re pants at cricket, but the good news – Super 15 is only 6 weeks away!

      • Teletubby

        When I started college in the early 80’s the 1st XI played 2 days matches, by the time I got in the team a few years later it was all 40 over stuff. Even in the U17 reps we were playing 40 Over matches when we would have developed far more if we played half as many 2 day games.

        I believe some of the more exclusive colleges still play 2 day matches between each other during the holidays.

        • In Vino Veritas

          Good point Tele. When I was in the 1st XI, we played in the senior club cricket comp. By 18 a lot of us were playing Hawke Cup cricket against first class players over two days (110 overs a day minimum). You learned fast to stay in for long periods (otherwise you’d have to field for most of the game!), ride out the tough parts and take advantage later.

          • Teletubby

            Can’t comment on that I was never good enough for Hawke Cup. The only two day I played was at club level but then I found out there was more beer in the one day grades!

      • Kimbo

        “We just don’t have the raw material i.e., talent in enough numbers and
        depth to challenge any of the top 5 or 6 test-playing nations on a
        consistent basis”.

        That wasn’t the assessment of Glenn Turner when he was coaching NZ, even in the mid-1990s after the Hadlee years. Sure, we may not have the amount of superstars, but look at whom they had available then (and it is only with hindsight that many of these guys became top performers: –

        Fleming, Astle, Cairns, Nash, Doull (and a few years later Vettori).

        That is the making of a good competitive team. Might not win all the time, or against the big guys (the “top 5 or 6″), but still no reason why they couldn’t scrap, and at least play to the best of their ability (and supporters respect that).

        Now look at whom we have (or SHOULD have) available: –

        McCallum, Guptill, Taylor, Ryder, Williamson, Southee, Boult, Bracewell

        That is as good as any line-up of raw talent NZ has ever had, with the exception of the 1980s Hadlee years. It compares favourably with, say, the late ’60s, early ’70s when we pulled off sme good results as amateurs: –

        Turner, Dowling, Congdon, Hastings, Burgess, Pollard, Wadsworth, Hedley Howarth, Taylor, Dayle Hadlee, Collinge.

        …and also, at the moment only South Africa and England are really only occupying the top two rungs. Below that it is very competitive – Aussie are re-building, India are tumbling, Windies aren’t world-beaters, we beat Sri Lanka. Test cricket has never been this open and competitive since, say, the mid 1980s (when we used to beat Auusie and England at home and away!).

        So if we are not jam-packed with talent, but we have some useful raw material, then there is only one solution – play every card you have carefully, and make sure your off-field administration (which can bridge the gap to overcome raw talent) is making really good decisions.

        Which comes back to your comment, which is the guts of the problem, ” the mis-management of NZC is of staggering proportions”.

        • In Vino Veritas

          Kimbo. Raw talent indeed. McCullum and Guptill do not have the technique to open a test innings. Witness their dismissals last night (Guptill rooted to the spot, neither forward nor back as he often is and see the photo of McCullum on Cricinfo trying to defend a breakback – laughable if it wasn’t so abysmal). Ryder has only ever scored test runs against India and would have been fodder for the SA attack the way he bats against the moving ball. Williamson alone has the technique to survive long periods in test matches against good attacks.
          McCullum (he who hasnt scored any runs in four sucessive series – SA, India, WI and SL, yet got made captain) talks about attacking cricket, but they aren’t individually or collectively good enough to do it on a consistent basis. They should be looking to score five hour hundreds and take it from there.
          Justin Vaughan has an awful lot to answer for.

          • Kimbo

            “Raw talent indeed. McCullum and Guptill do not have the technique to open a test innings.”

            You are right that McCullum especially does not have the technique to open,

            …but that does not mean he can’t bat in the middle order (as he most certainly should – and the reason he isn’t is part of admin problem)

            …and also your accurate critique which is focusing on “technique”, not “raw talent”.

            However, with good and firm boundaries that reinforce to players that they don’t know it all and they do not have complete freedom to do as they see fit, players with the “raw talent”, can develop the necessary and applicable techniques, and the mental skills to apply them consistently, within the context of an astute game-plan, and a united team that is buy-in to the collective effort.

            That is what we call ‘coaching’.

            So how is Mike Hesson, and the administrative decisions that lead to the departure of his predecessor, John Wright working out?

          • In Vino Veritas

            Mike Hesson is new to the job and should be given some chance. On players of raw talent, the stuff you are talking about comes from within, not from without. Glenn Turner and Martin Crowe for instance, where not created by coaches – their drive to succeed, and do what it took to suceed, came from within. That, allied with your “raw talent” took them to the pinnacle of the game.

          • Kimbo

            “Mike Hesson is new to the job and should be given some chance”.

            The cynical part of me is tempted to reply, “like he gave Ross Taylor a chance?!”, but yeah, he is our guy and we have to back him – in spite of him probably not deserving it.

            “…raw talent, the stuff you are talking about comes from within, not from without”.

            I think that may be a false dichotomy – it is “both-and”, not “either-or”.

            It is both from within (if a player doesn’t have it “within” you can’t polish a turd), and, yes, sometimes players have to do it when the external structures are crap.

            Nevertheless a good external coaching and administrative structure helps develop and enhance and steer the raw talent, and mediate the collective knowledge and wisdom of trial and error that others who have gone before have learned.

            Martin Crowe and Richard Hadlee were coached from a young age, so whatever undoubted genetic natural talent they they had was augmented by an impeccable technique they could always rely on. That gives psychological confidence to fall back on when the going gets rough – “forget the outcome, just concentrate on the process and the results take care of themselves”.

            Also Glenn Turner’s raw talent was honed, first by English county pro Billy Ibadulla, and then over 15 years on the English county circuit, so that by the end of his career Turner was the “complete product”, rather than the brick-wall opening blocker of the first half of his career.

          • Lofty

            You have reminded me of when Billy Ibadulla was commentating as Ian Botham approached the crease, Billy remarked ” and here comes Iron Bottom to the crease”

          • In Vino Veritas

            Kimbo, I can see your point and the advantages of coaching. I probably havent explained myself very well. Drive and burning desire to succeed doesn’t come from coaches. As Vince Lombardi said, to achieve success, whatever the job we have, we must pay the price”. Hadlee and Turner both had the drive and desire, and were willing to pay the price. I was coached by both of them (and played against Hadlee), plus Billy. They didn’t turn me into an international class cricketer. Lack of talent was my main obstacle, plus equally importantly, I didn’t have drive and desire,
            Ryder for instance, has raw talent. But raw talent doesn’t give him the technique or mental strength to suceed during difficult times at test level.
            A coach can show him “technique” but cannot “give” him mental strength nor burning desire.

        • Bunswalla

          What Glenn Turner said about players we had 20 years ago is hardly of any relevance now. Besides which, your assessment of these players’ abilities in the mid-1990’s is highly questionable:

          – Nathan Astle – didn’t even make his test debut until 1996, averaged only 37 in tests which was boosted by his outrageous (but pointless) 222 against England in a game well and tryuly lost.

          – Stephen Fleming – debuted in 1994, became a much better captain than he was a batsman, becoming renowned for the number of 50s he failed to convert into 100s. He retired with 46 fifties and only 9 centuries, and a test average of just over 40. That is hardly “top performer” stats.

          – Chris Cairns – a very talented all-rounder who somehow found ways to under-achieve. Could, and should, have been a giant of world cricket, but failed. PS ask Glenn Turner what he thinks of Cairns.

          – DIon Nash – not fit to lace a top performer’s boots. Test average of 23 with the bat, and 93 wickets at a tick over 28. Inconsistent, and looked good only because of how bad his teammates were.

          – Simon Doull – you’re having a laugh aren’t you? 98 wickets at almost 30, nothing with the bat. Had one good bowling performance against India, but his best days were when he played for the Netherlands.

          South Africa is clearly the best test-playing nation, light years ahead of New Zealand, England probably second, followed by India, Pakistan (who will trouble India, mark my words), Sri Lanka and the West Indies. Then there’s a BIG gap to (in no particular order) Bangladesh, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

          We didn’t beat Sri Lanka, we drew the series with them 1-all. We won the second test, after a 10-wicket thrashing in the first. It was the only game we won in Sri Lanka, out of a T20 (washed out), 5 ODIs (two washed out) and 2 tests.
          Face it mate, we’re RUBBISH.

          • Kimbo

            “What Glenn Turner said about players we had 20 years ago is hardly of any relevance now”.

            We disagree. It shows that even when things seem really bad (and the mid-1990s was VERY bad, pretty much like where we are now, e.g., disunity after the Columbo bomb blast, dope smoking and recriminations over whitle-blowers, Rutherford and then Gremon being dumped as skippers, the Parore and Cairns’ mutiny), you can still fashion a competitive side from the “raw talent” that the NZ cricket system produces, that is greater than the sum total of the parts – if you get the big rocks in place.

            You did a good job of analysing those players I mentioned individually. I didn’t mention others of a slightly lesser stature (McMillan, Horne, Allott, Parore who had even more ‘flash-in-the-pan success), but here is what that team of hardly “top performer(s)” accomplished (at test level): –

            1996-97 drew 1-1 with Pakistan in Pakistan (wickets by Doull!)

            1996-97 beat Sri Lanka 2-0 at home

            1997-98 beat Zimbabwe 2-0 at home (yeah, ok, but they had some useful players)

            1997-98 beat Sri Lanka in a test away

            1998-99 beat India at home 1-0 (primarily due to wickets by Doull!)

            1998-99 scrapped to an honourable and gutsy 0-1 loss to a top South African team at home

            1999 beat England 2-1 away (only the second NZ team to do so, and EVERYONE chipped in)

            1999-2000 beat West Indies at home

            2000-2001 drew 1-1 with Pakistan at home

            2001-2002 drew 0-0 away with Australia (arguably the greatest cricket team of all time – and with a few good umpiring decisions we could have won it, although a draw was a fair series result)

            2001-2002 drew 1-1 with England at home

            2002-2003 beat India 2-0 at home

            2003-2004 drew 1-1 with a top South African team at home

            …and yes, you are right what Turner says about Cairns, although he did acknowledge his great “raw talent”. It was after that the problems started.

          • Bunswalla

            Kimbo, I’m enjoying the discussion, but I’m not sure what – if anything – we’re disagreeing about. I’m not defending the current administration (since the capable Martin Snedden was headhunted to run a very successful Rugby World Cup, the administration of NZ Cricket has been an utter shambles), and I don’t think you’re trying to defend the current crop of players.

            We’ll never know how the Black Caps would go against this SA side if we did have Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee and Dan Vettori. While the latter two are injured and nothing to be done there (although it yet again highlights our dearth of players talented and experienced enough to perform consistently at test level), the loss of Taylor and Ryder could easily have been avoided with better management.

            Taylor’s absence is 95% due to NZC mismanagement and 5% Taylor. I support his decision not to go, but I have a bit of an “I’ll show the bastards” attitude in me and I like to see it in others. That said, you don’t want to be facing Philander, Steyn and Morkel unless you’re 100% focused and positive, with your head in the right space.

            Ryder is a different, and a difficult case. His troubles are self-inflicted for the most part and he’s been given numerous chances to basically, grow up. I think the straw that broke his back was the T20 game against SA last summer, when we should have won but didn’t. Something happened to Ryder’s confidence as he got closer to his 50, with the result being he took I think 10 balls to score 2 runs and we failed to get up and win. He was unfairly singled out as the cause of the defeat, and even worse he was accused of putting his own glory (getting a 50) ahead of a win for the team.

            I don’t blame him for giving an “up yours” to the cricketing media and public as a result, but now that he seems to have got his mind, body and form back into pretty good shape, I’d very much like to see him back in the national team at all forms of the game.

            There’s no doubt that better management would have seen Taylor and Ryder in SA, and as I say we’ll never know what difference that would have made. The fact that I keep coming back to is that against the top 6 test-playing nations we simply don’t have the talent, raw or otherwise, to compete consistently.

            Yes we’ve done it in the past, but we always had one or two world-class players in the side. We didn’t always have good management then either – until Chris Doig stepped in the NZC management was almost worse than the current team, and we have a history of poorly handling our best players – Glenn Turner as a player is a classic case in point.

            Current test batsmen rankiings – our best is Taylor (8th) then a long gap to McCullum (28th), Williamson (35th), then Vettori and Guptill (41st and 42nd). SA have 3 in the top 7 plus Smith at 13th.

            Bowling makes for even worse reading – Chris Martin, at age 39 is our best bowler at 17th in the world. The injured Southee and Vettori are 20th and 22nd, and next after a big gap is the rest of the current “attack” in SA: Bracewell, Boult, Patel and Franklin are all between 38th and 51st. Not likely to make the SA top order quake in their boots.

            South Africa? Slightly better: Steyn and Philander are 1 and 2, with Morkel at 8th meaning they also have 3 of the top 10 bowlers in the world. Kallis at 34th seems a little harshly ranked for someone with 282 test wickets, but he also has 56 fifties, 44 centuries and an average of almost 57 with the bat, so we’ll cut him some slack.

          • Kimbo

            Good take on the respective merits of the two teams.

            “I’m not sure what – if anything – we’re disagreeing about”.

            I think it is this: –

            “Yes we’ve done it in the past, but we always had one or two world-class players in the side”.

            I’m not sure that team of the late 1990s/early 2000s had “world class players”. Cairns sort of became one, although he went awol when there was some bowling to be done against batsman handing out punishment, and he always batted one slot too high (no. 7) to be classified as a really genuine all-rounder. Put it this way – he should have finished his 60 odd tests with about 280 wickets at 35 (instead of about 220 at 30), and 4000 runs at 35 (instead of 3000 at 32) if he hadn’t been allowed to pick and choose what he wanted, rather than putting the interests of the team first. The one series in which he really achieved, as he always had the ability to do, was against England in 1999 (and also against Oz in 1999-2000).

            For the rest, Fleming, Astle, Vettori – none would have necessarily made it into a World XI. I think the need for “world class players” is a red-herring.

            I can handle us losing to South Africa, especially with Taylor, Ryder, Southee and Vettori out (and as you rightly say, the former two would there be if the admin was right – although Ryder is a very ‘special case’). What I can’t handle is us not giving our best, and getting bowled out for 45.

            If we did our best, most folks would be satisfied, because now and then, as happened against Oz in Hobart, and Sri Lanka in November, we pull off an upset. And even without world class players, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be looking now to beat Pakistan, India, SL, and the Windies, maybe even Oz at the moment – if we play our best.

          • Gazzaw

            Great analysis Buns. I agree with your take on Ryder. He is a special case and at 28 years of age he is at the crossroads and his health really does control where he is at with his cricket. Only he can judge when he is ready to return to the pressures of international cricket and if he gets it wrong or is pressured to go back early he’s going to be back to square one with his personal problems. If he gets it right then we could just see one of the ‘greats’ of NZ cricket in the next few years.

            He’s getting good support, he’s playing some wonderful cricket. Lets leave him to judge when it’s right for him to return to the international arena. The MSM needs to stand back.

          • Kimbo

            …2002 and we also beat the West Indies 1-0 in the West Indies – the only NZ team to win a series there, with big statistical efforts by Fleming, Styris (a so-so player by world standards, and Bond (admittedly a world class player when he wasn’t injured).

    • Gazzaw

      Unfortunately Teletubby we aren’t proving to be that much better at the shortened forms of the game either. I totally agree with you that our players can’t graft their way out of trouble – McCullum, Taylor & Ryder, our most experienced players are just as guilty of playing rash stokes at the most inappropriate moments. As for our young players seeking experience so few now seem to try out for English County contracts or even Yorkshire or Lancashire League which allows for total cricket immersion in our off-season.

      • Teletubby

        Agree entirely about the idea of our guys playing off season in England, a few have done it but only for a season here or there. It teaches them to be professionals, not the rock stars they currently believe they are. Unfortunately the bucks on offer for T20 are pretty tough for the players to forgo, and who can blame them. Big kudos should go to Guptill who did skip the IPL to go to England for the sole purpose of working on his test game, unfortunately he hasn’t reaped the rewards yet

  • Pita

    Why can’t the “Black Caps” just play for New Zealand?

    They might just develop a bit more pride…

    None of the other cricketing nations play under a silly banner.

    • Lofty

      Blasphemy Pita.
      We must have black in every sporting body in NZ.
      I thank our lucky stars for our national badminton team the Black Cocks.

    • Travis Poulson

      The Black Caps are playing for their pockets. They get paid very well, I guess the possible threat of going to the IPL and earning fuckin’ squllions gives them some good leverage.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Seems like a ‘Team’ sport has turned into a ‘Look at Me’ sport, and there is the problem.

    Too many heros, to many prima donnas

    • Travis Poulson

      Not an SBW fan I take it.

      • Steve (North Shore)

        Sonny Girl you mean :)

        • Travis Poulson

          That’s what the B stands for…

  • J.M

    Fuck, I wonder how long ANZ’s sponsorship will last.