…perhaps one could make a book on it?
I think I'd give them the benefit of the doubt without more evidence. I'm just still struck by the way in which that innings seemed to unfold. It really was boring to watch, and not because they were trying and failing so much as not seeming to try at all after plan A didn't work. I guess teams have different qualities and personalities but I can't imagine any NZ team, or Australian team, giving up in the way that India seemed to last night, especially with such a crucial result on the line. Or maybe I'm wrong?
Maybe we’ll win on Sunday, maybe we’ll go down. But I cannot imagine the Black Caps going down like that.
I think you took the thoughts out of my head from last night. I stayed up to watch, only to see a run-rate of about 10 climbing increasingly higher while they just pushed the ball around for 4 or 5 singles an over, with no apparent urgency to even try to do anything (risky or not). Then to top it off, Dhoni ran himself out in a way that made it look as if he simply didn't want to ruin his 'finishing' record by being not-out in a losing game. It's as if they had no plan to adapt to the situation in front of them, and yet from what I've been reading it's apparently Virat Kohli's fault that the team didn't win, or something.
I think one of NZ's strengths is an ability for the rest of the team to adapt (or at least adjust) when individual performers fail (which will always happen), even if those attempts to adapt sometimes fail miserably. I don't care so much if they lose on Sunday, and hopefully it's at least competitive. More than anything, though, I'd feel very really sad if they simply give up 2/3 of the way through the game, as India seemed to do.
On reflection I’ve really found the last handful of weeks fascinating, watching the World Cup. BMac is a brilliant captain but I think he’s often been overrated in terms of how much NZ has relied on him having a good innings.
Not so long ago, critics (including the Australian team) were claiming that if he failed to fire then the rest of the NZ team would fail around him, which didn’t happen.
Then critics claimed that the middle order had never been properly tested, which doesn’t seem to have come to anything either.
Then critics were claiming that New Zealand would choke when it reached the knockout phase and things became more serious, which didn’t happen.
Then critics claimed that as soon as NZ struck some real opposition in the knockout phase, namely South Africa, it would choke and fall apart. I think I was also wondering about this and I’m really glad that the they’ve proved they could play to such a high standard, irrespective of the result.
Even now, much of the international analysis seems to be about how it was South Africa which lost the match, that they would have won if it weren’t for a missed chance our two, that they were beaten by the rain intervention which prevented them from going more nuts in the last few overs than DL predicted, you name it. Some commentaries don’t even acknowledge that NZ also played to a strategy and to strengths, and won it at the same time.
Last night I was browsing some Indian media comment threads, and there was an underlying tone that the NZ team has conditioned itself to playing on small, windy rectangular grounds, and that they’ll choke as soon as they hit the MCG.
And yet I just don’t care any more, because to me this New Zealand team has proved that even of there’s another in the world better than them, they’re probably still the best and most positive one day men’s team which New Zealand has ever fielded on the world stage, no matter how others try to justify writing them off. No matter what the conditions our what the opposition has thrown at them so far, they’ve pulled together and managed to pull off a win. From what I’ve seen, they’re also acting as great role models, which is something you don’t always get from sports teams, including past NZ cricket teams. I’m rather proud of that and I think everyone else should be too.
It’d be great to see a win for them on Sunday, but as long as they show up to compete, I don’t really mind what happens. It’s just a game after all. A fun one to follow, though.
[deleted - accidental double post]
Come to think of it I think there was some other kind of 'fun' category I could've signed up for, but I naively put my name down with the serious signup sheets thinking I was serious at the time. There could have been issues with me being out of zone and not having any recognised rep teams on my resume but I don't know exactly how teams were drawn up. If I'd noticed what was happening and been more assertive, maybe I could've done something else, But things weren't going well with me and that school (Wellington College) generally at the time, and being assertive wasn't one of my strong points. I've moved on. Had a much funner time playing Ultimate when I reached university.
Anyway: Cricket thread. Not school thread. :)
At secondary school it became a lot more serious and only the skilled were allowed to play – but those inclusive primary years were important.
Heh. I loved playing cricket through primary & intermediate. I had a major shock when I started secondary school, and suddenly found it treated so seriously. I was "allowed to play" but without even any trials after posting my sign-up sheet, I was somehow assigned to a rarely-called-on handful of reserves who weren't in any team. That meant no involvement for the whole season (practice or otherwise) beyond a couple of short notice call-ups to play on teams where the other members clearly didn't trust me or want me to be there anyway, and from that I soon came to really hate the sport. It took a few years to get over that before I started following it again from a distance.
Meanwhile, I've been really enjoying following the World Cup. RSA was the first team which I really thought NZ could be lucky to beat without choking. For me simply seeing how they played has shown that it really is a world class team which New Zealand's managed to build.
Having lived in Sydney, I think that’s definitely true.
I've had the same impression from living in Melbourne for 3 years (I've since returned). Australia looks much more towards the rest of the world than towards NZ, except when there's a reason. Where sport's concerned, they'll get behind whichever Australian teams are winning at any time, and NZ only factors in a fraction of these. It's not a national tragedy if a sports team loses, even cricket, though you might get a different impression if you only follow cricket-specific Aussie media.
But never Survivor, nor American Idol/Country X has Talent/The X-factor, nor Big Brother. So maybe it’s a case of “pick your reality poison”?
Survivor aside, there’s also a whole genre of Survival shows out there from the last few years, many trying to copy the likes of Bear Grylls’ success (I don’t bother watching, but count at least 23 different titles in the text of this article). Much of it’s also fairly insane for taking seriosuly and unrealistic (including much of Grylls’ stuff), yet some people do take it seriously. eg. When this guy went missing in the Hunua Range some time ago, and was later championed by our wonderful media for getting himself out as some kind of superman, there were some strong suspicions going through back-channels that he’d actually done an intentional runner to try and mimic some kind of ultimate survival thing, much to the frustration of Police and LandSAR and everyone else who was out searching for him when he was breaking all the standard rules.
We never had as many of the cruelty-based formats as other countries. I was told that it got too hard to get people to agree to go on Celebrity Treasure Island and it faded. And Survivors et al just seem to be full of the kind of people I strive to avoid in real life.
I still have a soft spot for American Cannibal, even if it was faked and a made for a cheesy documentary movie.
Goodness. Andrew Little completely trashed his interview with Guyon Espiner this morning, imho. He spent the whole time arguing about rewriting questions. I can'understand why he'd be taking the stance he seems to be taking, unless the old party elite are leaning on him, which doesn't seem too unlikely.