Wonder what Ross Taylor is thinking this morning, on learning that the Black Caps have been humiliated in the first test in South Africa.
More important, however, we must wonder what New Zealand cricket authorities have to say, in the light of what happened overnight.
If you have not been told yet, our team was toppled for a miserable 45 runs – yep, that’s not the score of any one batsman, but the grand total from the contributions of 11 of the sad bastards.
It seems they had no idea they were playing a test match, because they were despatched in just 19.2 overs.
Or 100 minutes, to use another measure.
This was New Zealand’s third-lowest test total which rekindled memories of the days when we were dismissed for a pitiful 20 or so runs against England back in the 1950s.
Was there something wrong with the pitch, maybe?
Apparently not, because according to Stuff’s report here –
South Africa replied with 252-3 as the ageless Jacques Kallis saluted a standing ovation from his adoring home fans in notching 13,000 test runs, while opener Alviro Petersen cruised to 103 not out.
The test is poised to end inside three days and New Zealand will face a huge deficit when they bat again. On today’s evidence they won’t get anywhere near saving this match and have a long week to contemplate how to put up a fight in the second and final test in Port Elizabeth.
Stuff has rubbed it in by reminding us that New Zealand’s 45 was the lowest test score by anyone since India made 42 against England at Lord’s in 1974. Moreover –
The only two worse New Zealand totals were 42 against Australia in Wellington in 1946 and the monumental 26 against England in Auckland in 1955.
Obviously, we deserved to be mocked by cricket buffs who would have paid good money to watch a cricket test.
The cry ”are you Zimbabwe in disguise” went up as restless Cape Town locals, hoping for a contest in the country’s marquee test, had to make their own fun.
Oh, and Taylor is entitled to feel particularly smug on learning that the skipper preferred by our cricket bosses won the toss but then made the wrong call –
South African great Shaun Pollock, inspecting the pitch at lunch in his commentary role, insisted it wasn’t a 45 all out wicket.
”There’s nothing untoward there,” he said.
It didn’t look so bad at the time, but Brendon McCullum’s decision to bat first quickly became a monumental blunder. Looking to seize the reins in his first test as skipper, McCullum took the risky rather than safe option, given Newlands’ recent history and the green tinge to the pitch.
It’s produced some massive 500-plus totals but also some tiny ones, including Australia’s 47, just 14 months previous.
An opinion writer (here) gives us cause to despair by observing that we can’t handle spin and now we are showing we can’t handle pace.
Beaten for pace, undone by movement – the Black Caps batsmen had no answers whatsoever.
The vulnerability the New Zealand batsmen have shown to spin in the sub-continent in recent years has been instantly replaced by utter susceptibility to outright pace.
Never mind the lack of technique, the body language of the batsmen at Newlands was appalling. They were dismissals waiting to happen.
Maybe we should test ourselves against something gentler and see if we can beat a women’s team.
A women’s team from – let’s say – Saudi Arabia where their garments are likely to impede their bowling and slow it down to something we can handle.