Disappointing Cricket but another month remains

Apurv Shukla

Australia beat New Zealand by 19 runs to win the Tri-Series finals at Auckland’s Eden Park on February 21, 2018.

The Match was decided by the Duckworth-Lewis method due to interruptions by rain.

The 27-year-old opener D’Arcy Short scored the highest with 50 runs to help his team lift the trophy.

For the Black Caps, the performance of spinners Ish Sodhi and Michell Santner proved heartening, and are another example of the growing clout slow bowlers now command in T20 Cricket. Australia’s left arm spinner Ashton Agar and England leggie Adil Rashid also had a successful tri series.

Auckland’s Martin Guptill and Colin Munro gave good starts to the Black Caps throughout the event. Guptill’s non-inclusion in any Indian Premier League (IPL) side though remains a puzzle.

Disappointing Series

For the Kiwis, the T20 format has proved to a disappointment all through the summer. Starting with the series loss to Pakistan, they won just one match in this Tri-Series.

Critics have been quick to denounce the performance of both Captain Kane Williamson and Coach Mike Hesson.

Questions have been raised about Williamsons’ form, when not opening in the shortest form of the game. Calls have been made to have a coach who has played T20 Cricket.

This will also help manage Hesson’s workload.

Weak Structure

The real reasons for the disappointing run of the Black Caps in T20 Cricket maybe because of New Zealand’s weak domestic T20 structure.

Australia’s team for this series had just one player from the team that won the Ashes back last year, namely, Captain David Warner.

The rest of the squad was generally an inexperienced but explosive mix of T20 players, picked from the very successful Australian Domestic T20 event-Big Bash League (BBL).

This event has transformed Australian Cricket.

It is proving as successful, if not more, as International Cricket played in the country.

BBL is attracting top players from around the globe and is being played to packed stadia.

These matches have had high television rating.

Home events good

In comparison, New Zealand plays a Super Smash domestic T20 event, just as the international team does. As well as attracting international players, even top Black Caps miss many games.

The event does not register in the public conscience, thus having an adverse impact on ticket sales and television viewership.

Domestic events are the platform players have to push for national honours.

The stronger domestic cricket becomes, the better the national team does, as the talent pool increases, and skill sets enhance.

Looking Ahead

England have turned around their fortunes in Limited Overs by playing an aggressive brand of Cricket throughout the innings.

This means opposition bowlers are under pressure.

A successful day for the English batsman means that no score is safe against them and the opposition gets daunting figures to chase.

New Zealand’s One-Day Series against them offers Black Caps an excellent opportunity to test their mettle against the best team in Limited Overs Cricket and an ideal start for preparations to next year’s World Cup.

Kiwi Cricket fans have another month of exciting cricket to watch before the Black Caps home summer winds up.

D’Arcy Short was the top scorer with 50 runs at the Tri-Series finals at Eden Park

(Photo Courtesy Black Caps Twitter)

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