Wednesday 9 March 2011

3 reasons why New Zealand fans should and should not get excited

Last nights game in Pallekele had a very convincing result. However it's not so clear that the performance was quite as convincing. There are my three reasons that we shouldn't get excited, and the three reasons that we should.

Reasons not to get too excited.

1. Ross Taylor got dropped twice early on.

If Pakistan didn't have Kamran Akmal behind the stumps the outcome of this game could have been vastly different. What are the chances of let-offs like this occurring in the semi-final? Much less than in a meaningless game where both teams have all but qualified for the next round.

2. We were playing Pakistan.

As I pointed out in my previous post Matching Mercury Pakistan and New Zealand have a tradition of beating up on each other. Both teams are as stable as the Italian Parliament and collapse to crushing defeats quite regularly. As a result a 100 run win really means not much more than a 100 run loss.

3. Vettori got injured.

The loss of Vettori is a more serious blow to New Zealand's chances than any boost in confidence that the team got by thrashing Pakistan.

Reasons to be excited:

1. Ross Taylor got dropped twice early on.

Taylor is the sort of player that can really capitalise on getting his eye in. In a way he's similar to Matthew Hayden. In the lead up to the last world cup there were calls to drop Hayden from the Australian side. The final warm up game agains New Zealand was possibly his last chance. He looked scratchy, was dropped early, and took 82 balls to get to 50. (similar to the number that Taylor took last night). However he started finding the middle of the bat, and went on to dominate all that came before him over the next 12 matches (the 2007 World Cup) scoring 840 runs at 93.33 and a strike rate of over 100. Could this be the start of a run like that for Taylor?

2. It was Pakistan.

This was not a thrashing of a minor team, or a team on the rocks. Pakistan are a powerful test side, who were riding high after beating Sri Lanka. New Zealand have lost their last 6 games to Pakistan, including 2 semifinals. And they have beaten a sub-continent team, in the sub-continent.

3. Vettori got injured

New Zealand managed to win this game convincingly without their no 1 star. The managed to beat a good team, on a sub-continent wicket, without relying on 10 overs from Vettori. Without Vettori's captaincy. Without him even facing a ball. If they are this good without Vettori, how good could they be with him.


  1. Great post. The Vettori injury is an interesting one. I can hear a small section of NZ cricket fans cheering the loss of the skipper.
    How does How keep getting picked?

  2. I think they need to have a player who has a name that's easy to make puns with.

    Perhaps once Worker from Central Districts makes the team How will no longer be required.

  3. How long before the media start speculating about match fixing in this one?

    Every victory over Pakistan leaves one with a small nagging at the back of the mind... did we win that fair and square?

  4. Brilliant, I've had quite similar thoughts, especially when chewing my fingers and toes off over Vettori not being available for the bowling (your #3 in the second part) and Franklin/Oram getting poked a bit, or so it felt. On Taylor getting dropped, nearly all legendary knocks are built on the foundation of an early drop, so I wouldn't be too fussed about that, that's how cricket works, unpredictability is always a factor. Concerning the Vettori equation, as encouraging as it may be that NZ won without him, his loss is a kick in the teeth, no matter how you look at it.