Thursday, December 1, 2011
We don't like cricket....
Hallelujah; it's the start of the cricket season today! The Black Caps take the field at the 'Gabba in Brisbane early this afternoon for the first of two tests against a below-strength Australian team.
We're not going to get caught up in the hype; the depth of cricket in Australia is such that a below-strength Australian team is still not a bad outfit and players such as Ponting, Clark, Hussey and Haddin have plundered New Zealand bowling attacks in the past. But there is cause for guarded optimism; Australia's bowling attack is generally inexperienced, whilst New Zealand has possibly its strongest top six batting lineup in recent seasons. If the batsmen can prosper, pressure can be built upon the Aussies.
The pitch at the 'Gabba will be sporting, and warm, humid weather with some rain is expected for the duration of the match. In Tim Southee and Chris Martin, New Zealand has two genuine swing bowlers, and conditions should suit them.
This match marks the start of a busy summer for the Black Caps. There are two tests apiece against Australia (away) then Zimbabwe and South Africa (at home), and a tour to the West Indies at the end of the New Zealand summer. Add to that the usual plethora of ODI's and made-for-television T-20 matches, and there will be a feast of entertainment both for the cricket purist and for the casual watcher or those with abbreviated attention spans. We definitely include ourselves in the former category where we are joined by regular commenter Robert Winter, and as we discovered this week, Phil Goff's electorate chairman Michael Wood. Cricket transcends all boundaries; even political ones!
We wish Ross Taylor and his squad every success both for this match and the summer ahead. Hopefully the team will stay in better physical condition than today's opponent; consistency of selection has been a major problem in recent seasons. But with John Wright at the helm, some promising players emerging and a new captain, there is much to be positive about.
We don't like cricket; we love it!