Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Analysis Of the 1st Australia versus New Zealand Test

There used to be an iconic drink driving campaign in Australia with the slogan, 'If You Drink, Then Drive- your a Blood Idiot'. Keeping this in mind, I must state, if you drink, and then write a preview to an Australia versus New Zealand Test match- Bloody Idiot....


For, you become so delusional to the point of predicting a win for New Zealand, and then have everything you know about the Kiwis in Cricket. That you have chosen to ignore rise up, and make you look like a drunk man behind a key board. In their supreme lack of Test temperament with the bat in hand, that basically gifted Australia this first Test match.


An Australian side, that had many stars on the sidelines, but still put in a very fine all round display to win the game with essentially a leg in the air.


Lets look at the merits of the match starting with the Aussies


Australia


No Shane Watson
No Pat Cummins
No Ryan Harris
No Shaun Marsh


No worries for the Aussies!


In truth, you have to dip your hat to the renewed belief in this Team under Michael Clarke, that has had times of real struggle. Exemplified by their humiliating batting implosion in South Africa for 47, and subsequent loss. Then hitting back hard with a remarkable win in the 2nd Test against South Africa


The lead up to this 1st Test against New Zealand has mainly featured who the Aussies have had out of their line up, and people buying into an unlikely Kiwi victory.


How foolish we were made to look to even give this any credence!


For the Aussies, in all aspects of the game were very respectable, and the performances of some of their youngsters was very promising. Michael Clarke with a bit of Lady luck scored his 3rd century in 4 Tests, and then under fire veterans in Brad Haddin and Ricky Ponting showed reports on the impending end to their careers might be a bit premature.


Heroes


Nathan Lyon


Nathan Lyon- An answer to Australia's Spin Problem?
It would be easy to put Clarke in this category, but I think even the Australian Skipper would agree in me nominating this rather nondescript off spinner.


For he has gone from being an Assistant green keeper to maybe being the long term answer to Australia's most perplexing issue since the retirement of Shane Warne. In a long term Test spin bowler.


Most have little regard for his Test calibre, but you cannot argue with his results. That have seen him be a very underrated part of the Aussie renaissance in the 2nd Test in South Africa, and here in this 1st Test. On a first day pitch, he bowled with real guile and skill to trouble all the New Zealand batsmen. Made even more impressive by the comparison with his Kiwi counterpart in Dan Vettori. In the match, who returned match figures of 2/88. While Lyon excelled with a match haul of 7/88.


Naturally context needs to be applied in regards to him bowling to a Kiwi batting line up that were shameful in their approach to what is needed in batting in Test Cricket.

Though, you cannot ignore his impressive performance in how he achieved the figures.



James Pattinson


Exceptional- James Pattinson
Michael Kasprowicz the sequel is what you thought in watching this young quick.


In the respect that he was the spitting image of that great Aussie bowler in his ability to swing the ball out at a brisk pace. Duly reaping the rewards in the 2nd innings getting 3 in an over, and exceptional figures of 5/27


Plus he is a Victorian, which is another reason why we love him more!






Villains


Phil Hughes


Pure and simple, Hughes is not Test class, and if Shaun Marsh is fit for the 2nd Test, he should replace him in the line up


New Zealand


My mum taught me, that if I have nothing nice to say about something, then say nothing at all...


Duly, I was going to leave my silence condemn the insipid display by the Kiwis, but let me polish my steel cap boots, and kick the crap out of them.


A Team that has always been viewed as being low on talent, but high on heart, and one-percenters were just embarrassingly bad.


Their batting was some of the most sacrificial you could hope to see in Test Cricket with many of their top 6 getting starts in the 1st innings, but just throwing their wickets away. In the field, their bowling which we all knew was suspect prior to the Test did little to inspire hope in it, and disturbingly was the glut of dropped catches. That further undermined the Team.


Which said more about the display than anything. For New Zealand for all its traditional deficiencies is always great in the field


They should hold their heads in shame for this display. For they made fools of all their fans, who saw this as a match that they had a realistic chance in. Only for them to blow away any chance of an upset through their own collective hands.


Tantamount to 11 men committing Cricket suicide in a Test match


Heroes


Dean Browlie


Surrounded by the rest of the batting line up committing inexcplicable batting hari kari. Brownlie stood alone, in the respect he gained through being one of the few that paid respect to what is needed for batting in Test Cricket


Villains


Dan Vettori


Dan Vettori- Selfish Batting
It might seem harsh in putting Vettori under this tab, but he did what was unforgivable in the 1st innings.


In the respect, that he put his own personal glory before the Team. Through having the Aussie attack on the rack during the 1st 5 balls of a Nathan Lyon over which he took 12 off. Only for him to run himself out of the 6th ball in trying to retain the strike. 


Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder


Jesse Ryder- Embarrassing Batting
All three have great talent, but 0 temperament for Test cricket, and some of their soft as butter dismissals would have reddened the face of a pre pubescent Club batsman


Jesse Ryder lobbing a gift to Mike Hussey off Nathan Lyon in the 2nd innings was just embarrassing to watch






New Zealand's Fielding


Not all can bat or bowl, but all can field, and that has always been the highest point of respect for the Kiwis in all forms of the game.


Sadly in this Test with a spate of drops, they further gifted Australia let off's, and propelled their charge to an easy victory


Looking Forward


I wrote off the Australian Team in South Africa after a humiliating defeat in the 1st Test. Only for them to comeback and win the 2nd Test.


So in a game where anything is possible, the Kiwis could comeback hard in the 2nd Test in Hobart, but that would represent a Lazarus like comeback.


I think the reverse might happen, and the Kiwi spirit will be crushed after this loss. 


Insuring an easy Aussie victory in the 2nd Test, and a comprehensive 2 nil series win.

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