We’d be very irritated if we were a New Zealand cricket supporter. We’re very irritated anyway. Admittedly, we get irritated by all of humanity on an hourly basis, but this is different. This is with reason.
Shane Bond would add fire to any attack and the sooner this ICL banning bollocks dies down, the better. The ICL haven’t banned bollocks, you understand. It’s not the female and eunuchs version of the IPL. We mean that it’s bollocks that Shane Bond isn’t being selected for his country because he played in the ICL.
Bond asked permission of the New Zealand board. They said yes, it was fine. India disagreed, so the New Zealand board did an about face and told Bond he should cancel the ICL contract he’d legitimately signed. Bond, quite reasonably didn’t. Voila. No-one’s a winner.
New Zealand’s remaining bowlers are dependable and we reckon the very same players would test opposing batting line-ups a great deal more given more runs to work with. There’s swing, bounce, turn and parsimony. They only lack pace.
Gah. It’s too ugly to contemplate. Brendon McCullum’s great in his own way, but is better kept down the order. Oram’s peculiarly schizophrenic, veering from thumping, front-foot solidity to quivering, back-foot terror. Daniel Vettori’s the best number eight batsman you could ever hope for.
Of the specialists, Jamie How’s worth persevering with at the top of the order and Ross Taylor’s going to be a terrifying prospect one day, when someone’s lent him some sense. Ross Taylor is Ross Taylor’s bunny. No-one else gets him out quite so much. You want to grab him by the shoulders and ask him just what the hell he thinks he’s doing half the time.
And there’s the problem. Who’s going to do that? Those two batsmen should be surrounded by some older, more experienced players. They should be learning from the non-striker’s end.
Stephen Fleming, Scott Styris and Craig McMillan are pretty much in their prime and are the last New Zealand batsmen with notable Test experience. New Zealand are playing less and less Test cricket. Three Test series are becoming two Test series. Those players need to be around – not only for the runs they’d bring.