New Zealand surrender almost all of their advantage

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Leading India by 301 runs after the first innings, New Zealand frittered away all but 40 of them in the second innings to ensure an unexpectedly exciting finish to the first Test. If you’re in an almost unassailable position and want to make things interesting for yourself, get bowled out for 105 and invite India to chase a target.

As we said on Friday, India will be tough opponents for England this summer. The fact that they’re losing masks how they’re losing. They’re losing with grit and running good teams very close where once they were just sort of having a bit of a sit-down and waiting for matches to end. They’re genuinely rebuilding rather than just using that word as a meaningless excuse for being beaten.

New Zealand are more building than rebuilding. You could say that they’re exploiting India while they’re in a state of flux, but we suspect there’s more to it than that. They have a middle-order and a well organised seam attack, although they could still do with some reliable opening batsmen.

Another weakness is that they’re full of Trents, Coreys and Kanes. In an ideal world, all Kiwi cricketers would be called Chris, Martin or both.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Tim Southee is looking pretty decent these days – he sort of disappeared off my radar for a long time (you don’t get a lot of NZ coverage on my TV package) so it’s good to see him doing well.

    As for India, I’ve got tickets for the 4th Day at Old Trafford, and am genuinely concerned that England will have lost the game by then…

    1. India actually had a decent seam attack, so there might be a bit to them in England. That said, relying on Zaheer’s fitness and Ishant’s form holding could be a long bow.

  2. When all that you had once built is rubble and dust at ground level, then pretty much anything that you are doing (even just turning up) is, technically, of sorts, rebuilding.

  3. I don’t care how they happen, tense test matches are always welcome. As some commentator pointed out, it is not often you see the first and the fourth innings scores dwarfing the second and the third. Wonderful stuff!

  4. Pretty satisfying win given the nature of cricket politics at the moment. Especially all the dodgy decisions that we got over India, there were multiple holwers that the DRS would have overturned.

    1. Absolutely, thrilled to see the kiwis get one up on the BCCI. I can’t believe we’re only getting two tests when both teams look equally incompetent against the swinging ball, this could be a ripper.
      Similarly CSA vs CA will be an interesting showdown later this month, with the best team in the world against a team that regards itself as the best, yet we only get three tests.
      This is WITH the FTP in place. I can only imagine the shambles that the calender will become in future as the ‘big three’ try to manage tours to the betterment of their own finances and ranking.
      My guess is that when it comes to away tours we will end up with a de-facto ‘two tier’ competition, with the big three barely bothering to travel unless it is to play each other.

    2. I think and hope you are wrong about big three away tours, wolf.

      They will still need the support of other cricket nations and trying to bully a lack of reciprocity into the touring schedule is unlikely to endear them to anyone.

      It might actually work the other way – the Saffers in particular are reluctant to have test series longer than three matches because they cannot come close to filling most of their grounds for tests.

      England and South Africa in particular should be playing each other far more regularly now…

      …I mean, once England sort themselves out – it would be carnage right now.

      Really looking forward to seeing how SA v CA get on over the next few weeks. That should be a shorter of a series and at a reasonably civilised time of day too!

  5. A great test to watch, and a very satisfying result. There was an epic collapse just for old-times sake, but it was great to see the way they collected themselves and fought back rather than losing it completely. Some great performances from many in the team as well.
    Very sad to see that it looks like Ryder has pissed away his final chance at fulfilling his potential. As much as it’s nice to idealise the chubby bloke that likes a few pints, it really has just become depressing to see someone throw away talent and opportunities that the rest of us would trade leftie for.

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