Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Zealand Justify Their No 8 Position

It is all confusion as far as the first test match between New Zealand and the West Indies. The match ended in a boring draw no doubt. All thanks to the overnight rain showers and bad light for the day. However, the three days of play that one witnessed, is more than enough to determine whos who of the test series. In the beginning of the test series, I had termed New Zealand as the winners of the game over West Indies. But, not anymore. Despite being the home team, New Zealand couldn't extract much out of the test match held in Dunedin.

The match was, in a way similar to the first test match between India and England, wherein, the team that was considered to be as underdogs, came up with a decent performance. yes, they did lose the test match. But not the honour and pride. Well..that is a different issue altogether. May be that since the ground was hosting its second test, things would have not been as per expec-tations went. As I have quoted in one of my earlier posts, considering New Zealand's history of having poor run in test matches, not as bad as the one that would fall prey to the West Indies.

If New Zealand are a poor test playing nation, so are the West Indies. West Indies are having a greater problem with their test record, which has seen it in the bottom of the ICC test championships table. The last time West Indies have beaten a decent opposition was in March, where West Indies beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the second test at Queen's Park Oval. And before that a victory against South Africa in St George's Park by 128 runs. And as far as a series win goes, West Indies had last won a test series against Bangladesh in 2004. A decent test series achieved by the West Indies was in 2003 against Sri Lanka 1-0.

And New Zealand failed to restrict the West Indies team who have such a great record of losing test matches. New Zealand are now placed at the 7th position in the ICC test Championship rankings.This I had thought was owing to their dismal performance against top teams like South Africa, England and Australia. But, not anymore, after the first test against the West Indies got over. A tail end bats- man in Jerome Taylor was found blasting a century and a first innings lead of just 15 runs, which should have been more than 100. It was a long way since I had seen a decent team finding themselves in trouble against West Indies. So, New Zealand now joins Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

A decent stuff from New Zealand should have seen the test match coming to the fourth innings, with New Zealand making themselves comfortable by batting well in their second innings. Anyway, there is rain to take the blame for anything and everything.

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