The Lineup
B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

Super Bad mofo's

Comrade Hillary

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Say their names with reverance and pride 

With McIntosh providing a solid start to the New Zealand innings yesterday, it's time Chuck Z and I begin to release our Black Caps' test openers analysis on a breathless nation.

In the last 15 seasons, New Zealand test innings have been opened by no fewer than 26 players. Two players (Astle & McCullum), appeared just once each, opening only in the second NZ innings, presumably filling in for injured "real" openers. Interestingly, the former scored 40, and the latter 19*, clearly marking themselves out as real opening material.

There's some unlikely names among the remaining 24:

Mark Greatbatch (a #5 slogger at best I would have thought - he averaged 8.50 in the 93/94 season).

Blair Hartland (averaged 11.00 in his three tests at opener)

Darrin Murray (opened alongside Bryan Young in all 8 tests in the 94-95 season, averaged 20.20, concluded his illustrious test opening career with a 0 and a 0*)

Roger Twose (the tubby one's ODI form didn't translate to an illustrious test opening career in 95/96 or 98/99. He did score a 94 in his first season, and averaged 22.67, which Jamie How would die for about now, but ended his opening career with a pair three years later).

Craig Spearman (enough said - twice the chances of Matthew Sinclair and quarter of the talent)

Justin Vaughan (a poor man's Gavin Larsen, the good Doctor averaged 13.25 in his two tests as opener in 96/97, but in fairness it was in Pakistan. Remember when teams used to tour Pakistan?)

Gary Frickin Stead (the Canterbury grafter averaged an impressive 30 in his 5 innings as New Zealand test opener in 99/00 - demonstrating that mental discipline can perhaps go a long way)

Adam Parore (D-list local celebrity, current star in the IPL retirement home, and sometime mortgage broker, Parore was briefly the world's best wicketkeeper. He filled in as opener 3 times over the 00/01 and 01/02 seasons, with a high score of 36).

Matthew Sinclair (Skippy was a stand-in second-innings opener a couple of times, before having three tests as opener in 04/05. After showing much promise, his last three innings yielded returns of 0, 0 and 2).

Lou Vincent ("the jaw" was a player who, like several others - Sinclair, Marshall the Greater - got generally worse the longer he was exposed to NZ Cricket management and coaching. Opened his opening career with a century and a half-century against Australia in Australia, then pretty much turned to crap - yet managed big scores on tour as an opener against India and Zimbabwe. Appears to have ended his opening career with a 4 in 07/08)

Stephen Fleming (the lamented former captain opened 6 times in his test career, and scored one half-century in that position).

Marshall the Lesser (opened in three tests at the end of the 04/05 season, averaging a handy 30.20).

Marshall the Greater (clearly selected on the basis of his brother's world-beating performance at the end of the previous season, H. Marshall opened in five tests in 05/06. Despite two knocks against Zimbabwe, he only managed to average 12)

Peter Fulton (the walking wicket opened in two tests against South Africa in 05/06, and proved no more effective there than at any other position in the test team - averaging 16.25).

Michael Papps (in and out as test opener since 03/04, starting with a promising 59, then a bunch of ducks, then an 86. Averaged 4 in his two tests in the 07/08 season. Concluded with a 1 which about sums it all up).

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

The New
Blogging it Real supports the following sporting organisations