cricket / short form

The Black Caps Conundrum

Consistently inconsistent. That is the only way one could describe this, or any Black Caps team over the past decade. There are some big questions about the current squad, thrown into sharp relief by the tour of England.

Questions like, how is it that Martin Guptill can be so meekly awful when he is wearing white clothing, and so swaggeringly brilliant in the blackish somewhat blue ANZ billboard that the limited overs team plays in? He actually looked a foot taller in the last two ODI matches, compared to the test where he came in during middle order collapses, and took his cues from the carnage around him. As his two centuries in two matches show, he could be a truly great batsman. His test record begs to differ.

Or how about the fact that the best spinner is arguably the most promising batsman in the country, who is simultaneously incapable of getting big scores? Granted, there have been a few 50s for Kane Williamson on this tour, but he has been unable to go on and get a hundred. In contrast, his bowling has been a revelation. 6 wickets at an average of 24 over the test series, and 3 wickets in the first two ODI matches. Those are numbers most genuine bowlers would be pleased with.

The biggest question is quite simple though. Why do the Black Caps do this to their fans? Surely being a cricket supporter in New Zealand must be one of the toughest assignments in the sporting world. The team swing so quickly, from playing like they are ashamed of the life decisions that led them to being professional cricketers, to making top quality opposition look like schoolboys.

It is nerve wracking to watch. This must be how the supporters of football clubs like Crystal Palace feel. Condemned to a life of hope, with a reality of repeated and crushing misery. I really do think the Black Caps have a chance at winning the Champions Trophy, but I know I am just being cruel to myself by thinking that.

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