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Speaker: Part 22: Not the Last Post

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  • Russell Brown,

    I also thought there was something in Patel and Franklin's stand, even if the Sri Lankans had dropped their guard by then.

    My heart sank as soon as Styris went out to that lame shot. He was the one who looked like getting us there. But I was a bit pissed off about Oram's dismissal - I'm far from sure Murali really thought he'd caught it.

    But yeah, we were bronze medallists, half the home straight behind Sri Lanka. Michael Holding's commentary on Malinga's opening spell was priceless: "Wow ... wow ... wow ..."

    Hope they beat the Aussies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    A strange way for Fleming to end his ODI career.

    Review of : his tenure here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • the E,

    I was horrified when Murali claimed that catch. When questioned about it afterwards he mumbled a disclaimer about not having seen the replay yet!

    Still, Oran walked.

    All round, what a shame. :o(

    wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Yup a 3rd place team.

    It was frustrating to watch and I agree the maturity shown by Franklin and Patel was an example which the more experienced players might well note.

    Sadly I think the players were capable of better, and I'm sure they think so too.

    Surely it must be obvious now that Bracewell has failed to lift this team above their ability. You can argue all day about individual decisions made by Bracewell but ultimately Bracewell's changes have achieved nothing. When he started we were a sometime ODI semi-finalist and now we are the same (albiet with a much worse test average).

    For me the worst thing about Bracewell's tenure is the way he undermined Fleming. I have always had doubts about Flemings "greatness" but there can be no question that Fleming under Bracewell was not the player or captain that he was under Rixon.

    Nothing more exemplifies the difference between Fleming and Bracewell than the response to the "failure" of this world cup campaign. Fleming chose to retire as captain, which has the effect of allowing the selectors to leave him out of the playing eleven. He accepted responsibility. That I can respect and I suspect it is that kind of responsibility that earned him the respect and loyalty of his team while he was captain.

    By contrast, Bracewell insists he still has a job and there must be a "process". No honest acceptance of responsibility that is so evident in Fleming. Would you respect that in a coach?

    As for Murali - what can you expect from someone who has success only because he throws and not bowls - he really should be playing baseball.

    Sad day

    cheers
    Bart

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Well said, Bart.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    And now they've lost, Adam Parore and Martin Crowe crawl out from under their rocks to throw muck. I wish the papers wouldn't follow the English practise of giving embittered ex-players a patform to throw mud at people who've accomplished more than them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Bingle Struthers,

    Quite, and it's not dignified, this usual period of national moaning. Ironic timing, this agony. Ask the diggers, they knew a thing or two about genuine loss.

    The other media hyena in this piece is Ian Smith, that corpulent little sausage, sputtering away like a fat kid in the school library club.

    No other NZ team has fared better, this one was, like its predecessors, exposed when put under pressure by a better side. Forget 'mental toughness' and all that blather. It is a good team not a great team, how can we hope to win a world cup without the best team? One or two New Zealanders would make the tournament team. Australia would surely have 6 or 7 players in there, Sri Lanka wouldn't be far behind. I pray they can yet give this forgettable event something to remember.

    Mosgiel • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    National moaning?

    What's wrong with considering whether they did as well as they could've, and if not, how to improve the situation?

    No other NZ team has fared better

    I beg to differ.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    3410,

    In 1992 and even more in 1979 we may have come closer to a final, but ultimately we came no closer or further away this time around.

    It's 0/5 in semis in the CWC. Contrast that with Aus (6/6) or our benchmark SL (2/2).

    It's the brainlessness (Bond's bowling, Oram, The keeper and the Captain in Waiting) dismissals that hurt.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    Ever stopped to consider that maybe we're just not that good?

    We don't have the money or the player base that Australia does. They have a huge advantage over us and so too do several other cricketing nations.

    We finished about where we deserved to. Maybe one day a World Cup will be ours but I'd venture to say it'd be regarded as an upset.

    Having said that - I'm a lot happier about the state of NZ cricket than I was 13 years ago.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Wurr,

    Well said folks. The hysteria is out over at the Herald in the "Your Views" column and as usual the vitriol is flying at the first defeat. Strange how it wasn't around when we were winning in the Chappell Hadlee series.

    Fleming and the team have been great, right from the Rixon era, although I agree completely that John Bracewell has undermined the captaincy and balance of the team right through his reign. In fact he should be the first casualty as far as I'm concerned - certainly his coaching style has led to the test team waning over the last few years. Bring on Wrighty I say.

    That said, it was a poor performance in the last two games and it looked to me like the team lost it's composure completely. Bond trying to take a wicket every ball with no rhythm, the backup bowlers bowling poorly, a good fielding side fielding badly etc. But let's enjoy some good performances at a rather sombre world cup, celebrate some wonderful years with Stephen Fleming and welcome in a changing of the guard. I'm more worried about our future bowling stocks to be honest!

    As a cricket fan you get used to the rollercoaster ride.....

    Finally, thank you for all the posts, they've been lovely!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    The benchmark is Sri Lanka; off-shore island from big cricketing power etc...


    ..and we lost to them again.

    I agree with celebrating Flem though; we will miss him.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    I think we pretty much performed to our potential. I think the sunshine and lollipops approach when faced with the old fashioned arse kickings we recieved from both australia and sri lanka was laughable, I'd actually like to know how straight faces were maintained. I'm disappointed in the bare faced cheating of murali not surprised though. perhaps now with ireland having a vote towards technical and rules decisions in the icc we can finally hope to get the chucker out of cricket for good, especially before he overtakes warne,(if he hasn't already) a legitimate bowling legend.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    perhaps now with ireland having a vote towards technical and rules decisions in the icc we can finally hope to get the chucker out of cricket for good

    It's not about votes; it's about TV revenue, most of which comes from the sub-continent. The Murali train left the station a few years ago. He was pinged by umpires, but the ICC buckled for financial reasons. He chucks; it's not cricket, but don't expect to see it change.

    3410,

    In 1992 and even more in 1979 we may have come closer to a final, but ultimately we came no closer or further away this time around.

    Well, that's true, of course, but not the way to judge "never fared better". The 2001 tri-series is a good example of NZ faring better. Numerous hard matches against AUS & ENG and we came out on top. As far as I can remember we didn't win one tough match this time, and got absolutely hammered twice.

    Personally, I think four-yearly World Cups in any sport suck, especially cricket. It's not a good judge of quality - too much chance involved - and all it does is demote everything in the intervening years to second rank. To come full circle, it only exists to garner more TV revenue.

    TV is ruining sport, and pretty much anything else it comes into contact with.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Hickling,

    I'll be going to the final on Saturday (Greenidge & Haynes, with my conch shell), sad to be watching Oz and not Us, but we weren't good enough to beat the Sri Lankans. The game of the tournament so far was England/Windies - huge crowd, big occasion, tight contest.
    I'd love NZ to win the Cup, but we do pretty damn well considering how many people play the game, how many professionals there are (didn't someone mention that we only have 150 professional cricketers in NZ?) and how small our population is in comparison with others. It must be tough being a sportsman with the expectations we ladle on them. Shouldn't we be patting ourselves on the back that we're better than India, Pakistan, England, Windies etc, rather than being angry at our failure to meet a somewhat unrealistic expectation of meeting and beating Australia in the final?
    The tournament has truly though been a sorry event for the region. Govts (and hence the populace) has spent a fortune on building new stadia, only to have poor crowds. The hotels have lower occupancy here than is usual at this time of year - because the "regulars" have been scared away by the thought of large crowds of roaming roudies.
    The anticlimax has been palpable, and exacerbated by the Windies poor showing. The amount of soul-searching here has been a lot more raw, because of Windies ongoing decline towards oblivion. People truly live cricket here. It's in the fabric of people's lives.
    At the base of the problems has been the issue of "management" of the game. The Cup fiasco has been blamed on Speed and his greedies at ICC; Windies' demise blamed on Ken Gordon and his hangers-on in the WICB. If anything good comes out of the Cup, many here hope that it will be a restructuring and rennaisance in the national game of the Caribbean.
    The world of cricket needs some serious re-thinking and reorganising before the next World Cup comes around.

    Barbados • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Ever stopped to consider that maybe we're just not that good?
    We don't have the money or the player base that Australia does. They have a huge advantage over us and so too do several other cricketing nations.

    Without wishing to pick on this comment in particular but there have been several comments in this vein.

    I agree we aren't good enough. But I disagree that we should expect to be this bad.

    Consider this. Western Australia has a population of just over 2 million people. Yes they are cricket mad and yes they get money from the machine that is Australian cricket. But of the current 23 contracted players in the Aussie team they contribute 5. If New Zealand were a state of Australia I personally don't think a single player from NZ would make the Aussie side but I'll conceed we might get one in there (we can argue about who it is later:)).

    So why with twice the population do we have one fifth the performance?

    One answer is pitches. WA has sun and heat and that's what's needed for really good pitches. And good pitches forces bowlers to learn to bowl well and allow batsmen to learn how to play off both front and back foot.

    But I think part of the reason for the lower standard is acceptance. In NZ we accept (and expect) to come 3rd or 4th or 5th. Cricket NZ accepts that they will be 2nd to Rugby and lets heavy blokes with sprigs run all over the pitches in summer! We accept a coach that fails to achieve excellence. We accept poor form.

    In Australia none of those things are true. If some prop wearing sprigs came near the pitch block the guys with the bats would make short work of him. If a player loses form in Australia he gets sent down the grades until he gets it back. If a coach fails to get his players to perform he gets a new job (want fries with that sir).

    Some of the changes needed are happening. We now play the early season where the sun shines and the pitches are better. But we still accept loss of form and allow our team to lose as a result.

    My biggest gripe though is we accept that Rugby players are allowed on the pitches in February and March, tell them to bugger off until it starts raining:).

    cheers
    Bart

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I agree with celebrating Flem though; we will miss him.

    There's been a fair bit of comment about how captaincy affected his batting. It'll be interesting to see if that flows through now for the rest of his one-day career (another year or two perhaps?), and if he also drops the test captaincy in a season or so and then keeps on playing there as well.

    All the stuff that is regularly tossed around about him being such a good batsman, who's results don't reflect how good he is - it'd be nice to see that follow through if he picked up averages in the 40s in one days, and 50s in tests for the rest of his career.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    - "The world of cricket needs some serious re-thinking and reorganising before the next World Cup comes around." -

    Hear hear, its been, by fairly common consent, a pretty disastrous tournament on and off the field (and on the off-shield subject - it seems to have gone all quiet on the Woolmer front - WTF is that all about)

    And really, I'm no sports administrator, but how hard should it have been to run a cricket tournament in the Caribbean, arguably the spiritual home of cricket? - It should have been done in 2-3 weeks with lots of drums, trumpets, swaying booty & rum.

    Instead it was Ireland and Bangladesh and empty stadia (no disrespect to their giant-killing exploits - one of the genuine on-field highlights).

    Not overly disappointed in the Black Caps finishing 3rd because Sri Lanka and Australia are clearly better teams, but like many I was very disappointed at the below-par performances at the business end of the tournament - just have that nagging feeling that with a bit of luck and the team playing out of their skin that the Cup was there to be won.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    Without wishing to pick on this comment in particular but there have been several comments in this vein.

    I agree we aren't good enough. But I disagree that we should expect to be this bad

    In line with what you were saying about pitches I think there is a case to look at the surfaces we play on here and how they compare to what we compete on overseas.

    Invariably the normal NZ pitch is well grassed, has a fair bit of sideways movement, but rarely does it have genuine pace. As an example Eden Park has become synonymous with low and slow.

    Now our players are brought up on this diet so we tend to perform pretty well against touring sides. However when we go overseas and come up against something that's hard and fast and is exploited by bowlers of genuine pace we don't always do so well. Ditto for the sub-continent and the dustbowl pitches that turn square.

    The issues here are two fold; One - our batsmen are only exposed to a limited dimension of bowling conditions. Two - our pitches don't encourage the development of genuine fast bowlers (Shane Bond is an exception), and they don't exactly make life easy for spin bowlers either (Dan Vettori another exception).

    In essence to broaden the abilities of our players, and to encourage talent development in areas other then medium pacers, a long hard look should be taken at the types of cricket pitches we're producing in this country.

    Variety, they say, is the spice of life.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    We haven't finished third, have we? Is there a play-off?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    "We haven't finished third, have we? Is there a play-off?"

    Well, technically speaking, you're right - I'm just claiming a moral right to 3rd place because we spanked the other losing semi-finalist

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I agree we aren't good enough. But I disagree that we should expect to be this bad.

    Just think how the Indians feel: huge player base, fervent fans, pots of money flying around, at least one truly gifted player ... and they lose to bloody Bangladesh and go home.

    Cricket is a remarkable game in any number of ways, and one of those ways is the extent to which individuals can turn it. If Styris hadn't played that shot and he and Fulton had clattered away for another half an hour, or even if Oram hadn't walked, it might have been different.

    But, of course, it wasn't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    "Just think how the Indians feel: huge player base, fervent fans, pots of money flying around, at least one truly gifted player ... and they lose to bloody Bangladesh and go home."

    Heh - I feel better already.

    And as another reminder of the sheer importance of cricket elsewhere, apparently Tamil Tigers called a truce during the Sri Lankans v NZ semi - OK the truce didn't last long, but hell, cricket for a short while stopped a civil war.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    yeah I've regularly using an indian chat site to keep up with live scores etc. They are extremely gutted, to put it mildly.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Russell,

    The sad thing is that in 9 games out out 10 Oram would NOT have walked.

    On the biggest stage we (McCullum esp.) failed in the mental toughness. OK, we are probably 3rd in the word, but we could've given 2nd more of a shake than we did.

    And the omens for that other Word Cup in France begin...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

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