Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Are New Zealand's Chances Against Australia?

Australia versus New Zealand.........

Whatever the sport might be, you know that the contest will have pulses racing with how hotly contested the play will be. The poster child of this is Rugby Union, where the Tests are the stuff of ages, but don't under estimate the theatre of the Netball Tests either. Where the ladies are anything but ladylike on the court, and the duels are reminiscent of wildcats being trapped in a Hessian sack together.

Claws come out, and the play is nasty...............

The duels in Cricket have the same tension, but lack the credibility because of the one sided nature of the affairs with Australia's typical quality eventually lording over New Zealand's big heartedness.

On hearing the chest beating from across the 'Ditch' from the Kiwi Captain Ross Taylor extolling 'we can beat this Australian side'. Normally, at any other point in cricketing history, the story would probably appear in the Comedy pages of the Newspapers for the Aussies to get their morning laugh from. 

Though, after the recent Aussie humiliation in the 1st Test in South Africa. The chance of a Kiwi win is more than a rough chance, and what would amount to an Australian National shame is occupying more than a few nightmares!

So let us look at whether this potential nightmare is just the stuff of fantasy or a chance of becoming a reality

New Zealand Squad

 Ross Taylor (capt), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Reece Young.

The Squad has a nice balance between experienced players like Dan Vettori, Chris Martin, Ross Taylor and the like, and then the young up and comers. Like the very talented top order batsman Kane Williamson and a man who showed his precocious talent as a spearhead swing bowler of real class in Tim Southee at the World Cup. Also in Trent Boult, the team has a young left arm swing bowler of real talent.

On talent,the team has the potential to really test Australia, and even an outside chance of an upset series win. Though as always when looking at the Kiwis and their merits in Test cricket, the biggest question is not their talent, but their temperament

Lets look at the squad in a bit more depth starting with the batting.


Next Big Thing- Kane Williamson
In any touring Team coming to Australia, the biggest issue is over their ability to handle the conditions. This will not be a factor for the Kiwis in this series because the two games are scheduled to be on New Zealand type pitches in Brisbane and Hobart. Then most of the batsmen like the Aussie conditions where the ball comes onto the bat.

The key to the success of the batting will not be there ability, but rather their temperament. For all of the key members in Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder are cavalier flashy stroke players that have a penchant for playing ODI get out shots in Test cricket. If they can marry more discretion into their choice of shots then they should all provide a great threat to the Australian bowlers.

Kane Williamson's role in making this batting line up into one that can have a decisive effect on the series cannot be underplayed. I say this for at three, he offers that rock type batsman, that wears the bowlers down and takes the pressure off the stroke players. Also he provides them with a perfect foil to work around or to fall back on if they fail.

I expect him to have a fabulous tour

Greatest Threat to the NZ Batting

I was going to say the batting line ups lack of Test match batting temperament for this. Which indeed is a huge factor.

Though in Ryan Harris, the Aussies have a bowler that has the potential to be a wrecking ball for any batting line up. Then his threat will be accentuated by the scheduling of the 1st Test at his home ground in the GABBA. Where in his last match there got match figures of 9/83 against the reigning Australian Domestic Champion Team Tasmania


Key Man- Tim Southee
In Tim Southee, the Kiwi Team has a young bowler that has all the skills to victimise a very fragile Aussie batting line up. He is a beautiful swing bowler, whether it be in or out, and also has the potential to get the ball to cut off the pitch. In conditions that promise to suit swing bowling, it is more than likely that he will be giving cold sweats to the batting. Also the big hearted Chris Martin has the potential to trouble the average Aussie batting line up.

The third paceman position will be between Doug Bracewell, who was impressive on his debut in Zimbabwe, and the young left arm swing bowler Trent Boult. It is likely that Bracewell will be retained, but the inclusion of Boult would provide a lovely balance to the attack.

Lastly the spin department will be carried by the evergreen Dan Vettori, who against a batting line up that struggles against spin could be decisive

Greatest Threat to the NZ Bowling

There is no doubt that the Australian batting, though a shadow of its former self still has some fine players. Most notably Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey.

Though the main threat to the Tourists will not be an individual Aussie batsmen, but the three men selecting the side. I say this for if they retain Phil Hughes and Shane Watson at the top, and not tap Ricky Ponting on the shoulder and tell him to retire. Then the Kiwi bowling will be greatly assisted by these glaring weaknesses, and the rest of the fine batsmen in the line up will be adversely affected by the pressure that is constantly on them.

That will not only help the pace attack, but also make Dan Vettori's very refined spin become more of a threat

Series Outcome

It is almost inconceivable when you reminisce on the 20 odd years of Australian dominance to even consider New Zealand a chance against them on Australian soil.

Though the Aussies have huge holes in its line up, and after what will be another anticipated flogging in the 2nd Test against South Africa. They will enter this series with little or no confidence, and either carrying out of form players or trying to bed in new players.

So though it will probably means me getting deported from Australia, but if New Zealand won this series it would not shock me at all

Call me insane, but 1 nil to the Kiwis

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Kiwis have talented players and as you said in the article a balance of the experienced and the new. I also like Kane Williamson and Tim Southee ;) Australia will have to watch out.