NZ vs Pakistan – 1st test analysis

December 2, 2009

NZ won the first cricket test against Pakistan by 32 runs.

Man of the match should have gone to the groundskeeper – Dunedin turned on a perfect test pitch. Started good for batting, gave a bit of variable bounce to bowlers at the end. Nice.

Bowlers from both sides were good – not just Bond (who was very penetrative). Chris Martin stood out taking 3 times his usual 1 wicket per innings in both innings.

But what on earth is Fulton doing back in the batting lineup? Tried & failed repeatedly at intl level. Pick Chris Harris instead for goodness sake. He at least can score centuries at domestic and intl level!

Anyway, Bond is out injured for the rest of the series; siiiiiigh. He should play if at all possible and recover during the Bangladesh series – NZ don’t need him to beat the Banglas, but do to topple Pakistan.

It poses a selection dilemma – the next replacements are Daryl Tuffey and Tim Southee – good bowlers, but NZ now really need to pick 5 strike bowlers to bowl out Pakistan twice, whereas with Bond they got away with 4. Former NZ test opener Mark Richardson agrees.

It would be nice if NZ used Mark Gillespie – their only genuine fast bowler other than Bond – but great figures don’t equate to selection it seems. We shall see.

But the dilemma is that the need for 5 strike bowlers cuts batsmen to 5 – presumably McIntosh, Guptill, Flynn, Taylor and Elliott. However, this lineup is still very new and unstable. Why not use the experienced Harris, Astle, McMillan and yes, Matthew Sinclair? Keep Taylor and let the others play for NZ A to get experience at international level. Otherwise we are likely to just burn off fresh talent again in a hail of confidence destroying Pakistan pace before they find their feet… The time to introduce newbies is against Bangladesh.

Deja vu – Kiwi cricket coaching coups

October 22, 2009

Looks like we are set to repeat the farce of ‘senior players’ in the Black Caps mounting a coup against their coach. Rumblings alleging incumbent Andy Moles has failed to give tactical and technical advice is different to the alleged ‘inflexible people skills’ that led to the coup against 1995 coach (and current selector) Glenn Turner, but the methodology is the same. Grumbling players unable to accept their role in posting low scores with the bat seem hellbent on blaming anyone but themselves. Hopefully NZ Cricket will sort out whether Moles is competent, and if he is, sort out the attitude of the players complaining.

If true, it would explain why skipper Vettori was inducted onto the selection panel shortly after Moles took charge…

Update: I now feel prophetic, having said when Moles was hired that:

“I’m not so happy to see Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori has seen fit to offer his public ‘vote of confidence’ in the new coach, contrasting with outgoing coach Bracewell’s dignified silence.”

and you can see why, when Vettori offers such underwhelming endorsement of Moles when the coach’s position is under threat from ‘his’ players. Vettori said:

“I think we have to be,” Vettori said when asked if he would be happy for Moles to continue as coach. “There’s no point me making statements to the contrary.”

Perhaps Vettori should just have said ‘no comment’ or better still, ‘It’s not my place to comment publicly on my coach’. Hmmm, Dan?

P.S. If McCullum turns out to be one of the plotters, can we now have Matt Sinclair replace him? Sinclair just got Domestic Player of the Year. Again. McCullum’s last award was a 14 ball duck, leading his team to a loss.

(Ig)Nobel Peace Prize

October 9, 2009

The Nobel Peace committee have made a bad joke of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, awarding it to US President Obama for…what was it now? Oh right, because “Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future”. Obama’s spin doctors deserve a stonking great pay rise for getting the NPP committee to swallow his schmaltzy ‘Change we can believe in’ campaign slogans.

What has Obama changed in the US, let alone the world? His health reforms are bogging down, and were so watered down they change little. And as No Right Turn (who is also choking on his cornflakes) points out, Obama has continued the Iraq (mostly by proxy) and Afghanistan wars. And Obama refused to even speak against the Israeli slaughter of over 1300 Gazans at the start of this year, nor has he put stricter sale conditions on the arms, missiles, tanks & helicopters he supplies the Israeli government. And his efforts at nuclear non-proliferation seem mostly to be about stopping other countries the US doesn’t control (Iran, North Korea) from getting nukes (so they can scare the US off from invading them – how cheeky!).

Perhaps Ronald McDonald will be next to get a Nobel Peace Prize, for helping so many people get so obese they can’t fight anyone (or get off the couch).

Hide yer shame with yer Black Caps

September 19, 2009

I know it’s only a warm-up to a knockout tournament, but losing to the Warriors shows just how weak NZ are in cricket right now. Granted, Vettori took a rest (but had a capable sub in Jeetan Patel) as did Shane Bond, which is odd, given Bond “seemed tired” after just 7 overs according to Cricinfo ball-by-ball commentary in the last ODI he played against India in Sri Lanka. Surely Bond could have done with more warmup in African conditions, and learn to mesh with proven opening pace bowler (in SA) Darryl Tuffey (who took 3 wickets).
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All too predictable

September 9, 2009

Sadly, the Black Caps slumped to lose the first ODI against Sri Lanka at R Premadasa stadium last night. I was going to blog in the innings break that NZ were going to lose if they went at the run chase of 216 too cockily, but it all seemed too predictable that they would. And the Kiwis obliged. Sigh.
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S59 tyrants

August 23, 2009

Unbelievably, or perhaps predictably, the ‘Yes vote’ campaigners have immediately launched into a campaign against democracy. After all, as No Right Turn’s ad below shows, why should MPs listen to 87% of the people?
No Right Turn - yes vote ad against democracy
So perhaps the public should respond by spoofing the Yes Vote tyranny, perhaps like this:
S59 alt yes vote ad - Sue says screw democracy
or maybe this:
S59 alt yes vote ad - you ignore them

Black Craps…literally

August 22, 2009

Sorry to lower the tone, but the rumbing bellies and the performance by NZ in Sri Lanka has been rather dismal.

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Adoption – gay is not okay, mmmkay?

August 21, 2009

The Green Party must love acting Family Court chief judge Paul von Dadelszen. Justice von Dadelszen threw the Greens another social engineering bone to chew on this week, with his proclamation that gay and de facto couples should be able to adopt children. Currently, NZ only allows married heterosexual couples and single adults to adopt. Whereas the Greens, in their sexual orientation policy, want to:

“Support equal criteria for both “rainbow” and heterosexual couples in their assessment for suitability and eligibility for parenting.”

This is the usual, tedious, unfettered social liberalism. An individual, or any couple, should be allowed to do whatever they want, so long as they aren’t ‘hurting’ anyone. While most people agree with this liberal ideal in principle, there is a lot more disquiet over what constitutes ‘hurt’. It is extremely hard to show any specific social change harms people, because we don’t consider it moral to run ‘whole of lifetime’ experiments on humans in sealed laboratories. So the gay lobby latch onto this difficulty in proving harm (just like the cigarette manufacturers did), and milk it for all their worth.

So, we get calls from a handful for gay adoption of children. Why? No seriously, why? If a couple are truly biologically gay (ie born gay, or genetically gay; if being gay is intrinsic to their nature as human beings), then why would they wish to have children? How do you reconcile the biological urge to have children with the biological fact that gay couples cannot have children?

Do gay couples ‘step outside’ being gay for a little while, to have heterosexual intercourse to get a child? (as I understand Labour MP Chris Carter & Green MP Kevin Hague did; please inform me if this is incorrect). Hague and his Green party are now pushing the idea of gay adoption.

Oh, and de facto couples? Isn’t that an oxymoron? People who choose not to marry or get a state-sanctioned civil union are choosing to not commit to their ‘partner’. So why should the state give such people any recognition of a relationship that the ‘partners’ can’t be bothered formally recognising themselves?

In relation to adoption, why should the state allow de facto ‘couples’ to adopt children, when the couple’s de facto status demonstrates how little they have committed to each other? Will they show more commitment to their adopted children, or abandon them to the state again when they ‘fall out of love’ with their current choice of ‘partner’ or children?

I feel the same about single people being allowed to adopt, as they currently can. I have no problem with (suitable) single people being guardians or caregivers for children. A classic example of this would be an older sibling being guardian for their younger brother or sister if their parents are killed. But that gives all the legal powers they need to caregive for the child, and they already have a sibling relationship; why would they want to create a fake parental relationship? Seems rather pointless; more an ego trip perhaps.

That’s without considering this call for wider adoption to be the ‘thin end of the wedge’, opening adoption up for polygamy (Mary has 3 Dads and 5 Mums) or redefining science out of parenthood (listing guardians who are not biological parents as actual parents on birth certificates).

So, lets tweak the law to keep adoption for married heterosexual couples – you know, those folks who’ve actually committed to each other, and could (theoretically) conceive themselves. After all, wouldn’t it be nice to live within the laws of nature, and be truthful about who our biological parents are?

For other views, for and against and mixed, we have:

No Right Turn
NZ Conservative
Kiwiblog

Black Cap 2nd test tweaks

March 22, 2009

Former Black Caps wicket-keeper Adam Parore reckons NZ need to finesse their middle order batting lineup to have a chance in the 2 remaining tests, now India have won the first test. Ryder at 5 and McCullum at 6 is Parore’s solution to the problem he correctly identifies as ‘dodging the new ball but having time to make centuries’.

However, having your best batsmen ‘dodge the new ball’ only works if you don’t start with 3 inexperienced batsmen, as NZ just did to their chagrin. Better to bracket new and experienced batsmen so the departing batter gets replaced by a similar one. The experienced players are Ryder, McCullum and Taylor; the newbies McIntosh, Guptill and Flynn (kind-of).

For example, open with Ryder and McIntosh, and bracket McCullum & Guptill at 3/4, and Taylor & Flynn at 5/6. So – if McIntosh is out, bring in Guptill, but if Ryder drops, bring in McCullum; Taylor replaces McCullum, while Flynn comes in after Guptill falls. That way, you always have a harder hitting older batsman paired with a newbie, to stabilise things, and (hopefully) avoid a rapid rout of the top order, nullifying Parore’s effect of putting the best batsmen in the middle order to ‘protect them’ from the new ball.

That said, the case is stronger than ever for ‘Skippy’ Sinclair to get a bat in the last 2 tests. And I remain unconvinced about James Franklin’s conversion from fast-medium left-arm pace bowler to batting allrounder with medium-fast bowling. He has not shone.

But if poor bowling prizes are given out, surely all three spots on the podium would go to Kyle Mills? He has truly lived up to his test ranking of 41st in the world. Good against teams like Bangladesh & West Indies, Mills is exposed every time against good sides like Australia (Chappell-Hadlee series) and India. Swap him for a genuine quick bowler, like Wellington’s Mark Gillespie, who has been given treatment little better than Sinclair by the selectors.

So, my lineup for the last 2 tests?

  • Opening pair – Jesse Ryder & Martin Guptill
  • first drop – Brendon McCullum & Matthew Sinclair
  • 2nd drop – Ross Taylor & Daniel Flynn
  • allrounder – drop Franklin for the evergreen Chris Harris!🙂 (I know, the ICL farce). Okay, chuck Tim McIntosh in to open with Ryder, and drop Guptill, Sinclair and Flynn 1 bracket down each.
  • bowlers – Dan Vettori, Mark Gillespie (instead of Mills), Iain O’Brien and Chris Martin.

That gives 4 pace bowlers (Martin, O’Brien, Gillespie and Ryder), spinner Vettori, and I reckon if Harry could be picked, he would do quite well on these flat wickets – it’s all about guile. All while retaining 6 genuine specialist batsmen.

But we’ll see…

No contingency for Auckland rail…again

March 5, 2009

Yet again, transport policy setter ARC, transport policy implementer ARTA and rail operator Veolia are caught with their trousers round their ankles! When will they start to put in place adequate contingency plans for a variety of potential system’s failures? Hell, or any contingency plan beyond ‘dither for 2 hours, then get all passengers a taxi chit or hope they go away’.

Accident’s and equipment failures happen. The real beef I have is how poorly ARC, ARTA and Veolia respond – every time! They should list every kind of outage they can realistically expect (from Auckland’s volcanos erupting to signals loss to points jamming or derailments) and what measures they will take to rectify and keep passengers informed and moving.

Instead, another ludicrous mega-billion plan to disrupt the services in pursuit of an unachievable utopia.

Did the Remuera Rd rail overbridge naturally crack the other day, or was it caused by the Newmarket rail station upgrade (bozo with bulldozer?). Why was the bridge not physically inspected during the station upgrade planning process? (what are those project managers paid for, hmmm? will there be a penalty for them for this oversight?).

Interesting that in the Remuera Rd bridge article linked to above, no answer was given by Ontrack to the obvious question by Newmarket Business Assoc. ceo Cameron Brewer; namely, why did no-one working under this bridge spot the cracks earlier?

Passenger growth is badly hurt by the perpetual ‘incremental improvements over 20 years’ mentality pervasive in ARTA. These risk averse bunnies should be axed – give the implementation of public transport planning back to ARC and save on paper pushers.