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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Bye-bye McMillan 

Well happy days, Bracewell has shown some backbone, and dropped the ineffectual McMillan from the NZ Test team. We've reviewed McMillan's faults a few times at bloggingitreal, noting in particular his failure to contribute to the team in 55% of his turns at bat.

In his most recent 10 tests, McMillan has averaged 36.3 runs (from 16 turns at bat), including four good scores (82, 100*, 83*, 54) but also five abject failures (0, 0, 6, 4, 9). Put simply, this guy does more damage to the team than good - time for someone else to have a go. That someone else is Hamish Marshall, for now.

Unfortunately, McMillan vows he'll be back and made this interesting claim, strangely detached from reality: "I think my tests record is pretty good, and stands up there with the best of 'em. It's difficult to accept - I really think my form and my contribution to the team lately has been quite healthy."

On second thoughts, Craig, you're right ... when picking a World XI it really is hard choosing between Lara, Tendulkar, Ponting and McMillan.

Richard Boock has this to say in today's NZH:

McMillan, recalled under controversial circumstances after arriving as cover for Fleming and Astle, lost not only his mind but also his wicket when he charged recklessly at Shane Warne and was caught behind for 23.

It was an outrageous dismissal considering New Zealand's position at the time and the fact that McMillan and Oram had been repairing much of the earlier damage with a gritty 42-run stand for the sixth wicket.

But it was even more astonishing considering McMillan's lack of security in the national team, and his effort in the tour match last week in Sydney when he slogged out in the first innings and shouldered arms to a straight one in the second.

At least it was a gutsy, fighting innings from Sinclair, who was hit on the shoulder and lid during a fiery first session.

He eventually brought up his fourth test half-century with an inside edge for four.

The 29-year-old Central Districts batsman, considered more of a makeshift opener than specialist, has taken most chances offered to him over the past year, with his most recent five innings realising scores of 74, 21, 76, 23 and 69.

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