Posts Tagged ‘Kyle Mills’

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…

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Kiwi Bangla bunglers

October 26, 2008

Not much on cricket lately, so as we in the southern hemisphere dust off bats & balls, I thought I’ld point out that the plucky fellows of Bangladesh almost toppled NZ in the first cricket test!

For those familiar with the long struggle Bangladesh have had getting up to test status, this is stunning, and good news for global cricket. Granted, NZ are ranked 7th of the 8 major test teams, and have lost several core team members to retirement or the ICL or IPL recently, but so too have Bangladesh lost players to the ICL.

On home wickets, Bangladesh had good spinners (as usual), but also put up a reasonable pace attack and batted to a respectable score. Leaving 317 for NZ to get in the 2nd innings should have seen a hometown win, but Dan Vettori stepped up with the only fine performance throughout the test from NZ; 9 wickets bowling and 2 half-centuries batting.

Sadly, the second (and final) test has already lost 2 days to rain, so may not get a result… Hopefully, Bangladesh will take heart from this (and an ODI win) for the future, and we can only hope NZ selectors will learn their lesson (seems not – they picked all-rounder Grant Elliot to replace injured Jacob Oram, instead of picking a decent quick bowler to replace the woeful Kyle Mills).