Sunday, December 30, 2018


on their well deserved win over Sri Lanka which propels NZL to third place in the World Test Match Rankings (behind India and England and now two ahead of Australia).

I agree with Simon Doull that picking the MOTM was a tough one with Boult and Latham very much in contention but I think that in naming Tim Southee they got it right.

Meanwhile Australian Cricket continues to tear itself apart with the aftermath on the ball tampering affair.     The orchestrated faux apologies by Smith and Bancroft on the eve of the Boxing Day Test and their attempt to shift the blame entirely onto the Coach and Warner has been rightly condemned by a slew of OZ cricketing greats including Dean Jones, Michael Slater and Ricky Ponting.

Smith, Warner and Bancroft become eligible to return to test cricket on 28 March.   Having them back in the game would be a bit like Lou Vincent playing for the Black Caps.   


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I don't disagree with anything you say here, Vet but I do think Smith and Warner were harshly punished compared with the officials who created the 'win at all costs' mentality which gave rise to the incident. I can think of nothing more appalling than a senior official marching into the dressing room and telling players 'You are not paid to play, you are paid to win.'

pdm said...

As far as the NZ team is concerned there is only one test spot open at the moment and that is the one occupied by de Grandhomme. I am not sure what the answer is but a fit Cory Anderson may solve the problem. Interesting to hear Jeremy Coney saying he would like Williamson to bat at 4 and that either Will Young or George Worker could be contenders for no3 - that would lengthen the batting but leaves the bowling slightly exposed if de Grandhomme is dropped.

The Veteran said...

Adolf ... and Smith, Warner and Bancroft had so little personal integrity and so little thought for the 'game' that they were prepared to meekly say 'how high Sir'.

David said...

New Zealanders may be happy to come fourth, but in Oz we like our teams to win. There isn't anything else.

Sadly, there are too many in our government who will grab on to anything they can to distract from the stench of their rotting policies, so the reaction ended up way over the top. Similar cases have resulted in penalty runs (5 is the norm) being granted to the opposition team and the player(s) involved losing a portion of their match fee.

Smith and Warner were playing a win at all costs form of cricket that delighted the punters and the return of The Ashes. Smith's record speaks for itself, a greater win /loss ratio than Border, either Chappell, Bob Simson, or Richie Benaud.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Vet, I didn't suggest they were innocent but I do think they were treated more harshly than they deserved, given the paucity of sanctions against some officials.

The Veteran said...

David ... Oz vs India, Oz lost. NZL vs Sri Lanka, NZ won buy the eighth largest margin in test match history. NZL now third in the test match stats. Oz fifth. NZL have won their last four test series and they've done it without cheating. Smith may be 'your' icon but he's damaged goods.

Amyway, what's this about NZL happy to come fourth?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Best sledge for a long time was Kohli asking Paine if he had ever herd the term 'temporary captain?'

pdm said...

I have watched a fair bit of the Aus/India tests so far and have two questions about Paine.
1. Does he have the respect of the team - from the way Starc has bowled in the series so far and using him as an example I don't think so.
2. It is hard to believe he is the est glove man in Australia - he is sloppy at best.

The Aussies probably have to do what they did years ago and bring a senior pro like Bobby Simpson back to get the team back on track. Trouble is I don't think they have anyone of Simpson's stature around these days.

pdm said...

Further to my earlier post re Paine I see he made someones world X1 for 2018. Not in my book he wouldn't be in the top 6 international keepers going round at the moment and I doubt he is in the top 3 even in Australia.