Australia wrapped up a convincing win at the Gabba today with an impressive nine wicket victory over a very poor New Zealand outfit. It was an old fashioned hiding as the Black Caps were made to look very ordinary with both bat and ball and I am hoping they lift for Hobart so that cricket fans get to witness at least something resembling a contest throughout the series.
Technique wise the New Zealand bats were extremely poor; McCullum and Ryder fell to woeful cut shots as they failed to transfer weight through the ball and ended up spooning regulation catches to Warner at point. Captain Ross Taylor decided that you do not need to move your feet as he dangled the bat outside off and only managed to drag the ball back on to his off stump. Kane Williamson looked all at sea against some very good off spin bowling from Nathan Lyon; his shuffle, shuffle routine inevitably ended with the New Zealander popping a catch up to forward short leg. These guys had a great chance to perform and back up the big talk leading into the series, but the execution was just not up to test standard. I do not think the Australian pace bowlers really bowled particularly well on the first day, they tended to be either very full or short and lacked genuine consistency in line and length.
In the second inning we saw some test match quality swing bowling from debutant James Pattinson and the New Zealanders were unable to handle it. The footwork from New Zealands top order was unbelievably poor; you only need to see how far the bats were away from the player’s body to realise that these guys were not ready for a test match. McCullum got a good nut from Pattinson, late on day three, that would have brought many batsmen undone, but the procession that unfolded on day four was a mixture of decent bowling and truly inept test match batting. Ross Taylor as captain deserves the greatest amount of criticism as he failed to learn from the first inning and once again failed to get any lateral foot movement happening and dangled the bat outside off resulting in a catch though to Haddin. It was schoolboy stuff and very disappointing from a team that was full of big talk leading into the series. That’s not to take away anything from Pattinson’s spell in the morning; I just wonder if the Indians will be so generous in the next series?
A quick aside; although Pattinson will get all the credit and deservedly so, for his 5/27 in the second inning, I have to say I’m very impressed with Nathan Lyon. He was extremely unfortunate not to pick up five wickets in the first innings and extracted a ton of bounce and spin on the first day as he seems to be a very attacking finger spinner. Lyon frequently gets the ball above the eye level of the batsmen and seems unfazed if he goes for a few runs. It will be interesting to see how he fairs against the Indians later in the summer, but for now it looks like the South Australian has locked down the spinners position.
Hopefully cricket fans get an improved effort out of the Black Caps down in Tasmania, and the young Aussie bowlers are made to toil a bit harder so they can be prepared for the likes of Dravid, Laxman and Tendulker later in the season.