Brace yourself for it…

… the Kiwis get spanked again by the Ozzies! Yes folks, it was another drubbing at the hands of ‘punter’ Ponting (134no). View the misery on the Cricinfo scorecard or summary bulletin.

At least Scott Styris dragged himself back from a small form slump on the South African and Australian tours, to punch 75 quickly. Nice to see Mark Gillespie plunder a few quick runs with the bat too, as revenge for his expensive, though useful, bowling.

Back home, the knives seem to be sharpening for the coach, John Bracewell, from journos and the Beige Brigade. That is a little unfortunate, as despite some blunders, ‘braces’ is far better in my view than lamentable former coach Steve Rixon, who recently made a hamfisted effort to finesse his way back into the Kiwi coaching job. While a blind badger could have accurately made the same predictions as Rixon, the Ozzie had clearly paid too much attention to Canterbiury (and now Wallaby) coach Robbie Deans in the latter’s efforts to pry retained All Black coach Graham Henry from his job. Now Deans gave a PR job to watch 🙂

Anyway, I hope NZ coach and selectors take the Bangladesh tour opportunity to build a strong confident Black Cap squad based around experienced players, not U-19 emigres that catch selector Hadlee’s eye as ‘the next Tendulkar’.

Giving Gillespie, Martin, and Michael Mason a chance to form a quick bowling team with Oram would be good (anyone note Mills failed again to break through the Oz lineup), while Jeetan Patel has a chance to show his mettle against players who know spin intimately. Most of all though, a solid top-order batting line up must be worked on… Good luck to ’em!

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