Jun 2 2009


Allaying all concerns that the previous 1, 2, 3 warm up victories over half of the tournament’s minnows were merely flattering to deceive, the Black Caps have rolled India. Hoody hoo!

Now we should first recognise that this is just a warm up match. It could well be that India just weren’t trying as hard as they might. Despite playing 12 players (to NZ’s 11 – Bloom and McGlashan, listed on the NZ scorecard, didn’t get onto the field), India chose to rest Virendar Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan.

Still, NZ’s score of 170 was a good one against a slightly weakened India, and defending that when India were on track to win right up to the end of the 16th over was a massive effort. It was over 17th over, bowled by Vettori which went for 2, and the 18th over, Oram going for 3, that won NZ the game. It was such a surprising turn around given how comfortably in control the Indians were, you could almost conclude that they lost on purpose, just for practice, so they know what not to do in a real game.

I was very impressed by Oram’s bowling. I had been composing a post about the oddity of Oram’s fine ODI record, but poorer records for the versions of the game on either side of the ODI code. I mean, if he’s better in ODIs than in tests, he should be better in 20-20s than in ODIs. But he’s made that post redundant by showing that he’s actually a good 20-20 bowler. Someone else I reckon would have been good in 20-20s is Chris Cairns, as an intelligent bowler and a big hitter. But James Franklin (27 off 10 across the last four overs) seems to be filling that role quite nicely.

You can see a few highlights here. (At least you can in New Zealand; I don’t know about the rest of the world.) It’s a nice little clip, showing Vettori’s wickets, and an odder set of three wickets you’re not likely to see.

So that’s three wins from three against India (though I don’t think this one counts as an official game, given that both teams were given the option of playing as many as 13 players). If I understand the tournament schedule properly, NZ and India won’t be playing each other until at least the semi-finals.

Flight of the Conchords:

May 25 2009

Kiwis in the IPL, final stats

Batsman M/I Runs Avg SR Avg×SR
Brendon McCullum 13/13 285 23.75 119.24 2831.95
Kyle Mills 0/0 0 - - -
Jacob Oram 13/8 88 14.66 94.62 1387.1292
Jesse Ryder 5/5 56 11.2 114.28 1279.04
Scott Styris 2/1 14 14 175 2450
Ross Taylor 11/1 280 31.11 134.61 4187.7171
Daniel Vettori 7/4 34 17 106.25 1806.25
Bowler M/I Wkts Avg Econ Avg×Econ
Kyle Mills 0/0 0 - - -
Jacob Oram 11/7 5 26.6 8.58 228.228
Jesse Ryder 5/5 3 38.33 6.76 259.1108
Scott Styris 5/5 5 12.8 8 102.4
Ross Taylor 11/1 0 - 13 -
Daniel Vettori 7/7 7 25.85 7.81 201.8885

May 23 2009

Kiwis in the second half of the IPL

When I first took a look at how the New Zealanders were doing in the IPL, I found that most of them needed to lift their game if they were to make an impact, or their franchises had to give them more of a run.

How much have things changed over the second half of the IPL?

Kyle Mills – Mumbai Indians

Not given a single game for the team who ended up second from the bottom. Probably already left South Africa to join the NZ 20-20 squad.

Scott Styris – Deccan Chargers

Didn’t add to the two games he had played when I last reported. Piggy’s descent into obscurity continues.

Ross Taylor – Royal Challengers Bangalore

Had a slow start to the tournament, but really accelerated in the second half. Ended up second highest run scorer for Bangalore with 236 runs averaging about 30 at 134, particularly helped out by his 81* of 33. Not bad in the end, and possibly winding up for a good knock in the semis.

Jesse Ryder – Royal Challengers Bangalore

Pretty much dropped by Bangalore after a poor first half of the tournament. I think he played one game in the second half, where he scored 22, which actually pushed his average into double figures.

Jacob Oram – Chennai Super Kings

Continued on as he started; hit a few runs when he got a bat and knocked over a couple more wickets in the second half of the tourney. A most middling of middling performances. He sits a bit below half way down in both the batting averages and bowling averages.

Daniel Vettori – Delhi Daredevils

Despite having a tidy first half to the competition, Vettori has only been given two games in the second half. Fairly perhaps as he has taken no more wickets and only picked up a handful of runs. Delhi go into the semis as top qualifier, so they are likely to be happy with their winning lineup, which doesn’t include Vettori.

Brendon McCullum – Kolkata Knight Riders

One of the more abject performers of the first half, in both his batting and his captaining. He managed a couple of wins in the second half, but combined with another 5 losses. His batting improved considerably, including an 84 and a 81*, which gives him two entries in the top 10 high scores for all teams. These scores did enough to push his average and strike rate to 24 and 120 and out of the embarrasing zone.

So, with the semis and final still to be played, it has been a rather quiet tournament for the New Zealanders. Taylor has been the stand out, and he hasn’t even been playing to his usual standard. Really rather quiet.

May 6 2009

Kiwis in the first half of the IPL

The defeat on Sunday of Kyle Mills’ Mumbai Indians by Taylor and Ryder’s Royal Challengers Banglalore marked the half way point of the IPL qualifiers.

While the tournament has been fairly subdued compared to last year in terms of action, it is shaping up to be a competitive run to the semis, with everyone except Kolkata well in with a chance. The New Zealanders haven’t contributed much to this however…well, maybe McCullum is contributing to Kolkata’s misfortune.

Brendon McCullum – Kolkata Knight Riders

McCullum’s star burnt brightly but briefly in last year’s tourney – he only played 4 matches but scored 188 runs at more than 2 runs a ball. He was, perhaps, rewarded for his performances by being made captain this year. You can read about his being made captain, though the story has many more sides. You can also read the inside word (or a dramatisation of, at least) on McCullum’s team, though the outside word is just as dismal. In short, the Knight Riders are crappity crap. Just one win and an NR in the first part of the tournament. As captain, Brendon knows he is accountable, and he has offered to quit if they don’t make the semis (and they won’t). He has been garnering a fair bit of sympathy though.

His biggest problem is that he hasn’t been leading from the front. By last Sunday he had scored a mere 50 runs from 7 innings, less than his average innings score last year (his average this year is about 7 so far). And that has come at about 2 runs every 3 balls.

Daniel Vettori – Delhi Daredevils

Delhi have had the strongest start to the tournament of all the teams; by Sunday they had 4 wins out of 6 games. Vettori’s contribution to this was 7 wickets @ 19, including a 3/15. A very good haul from his 5 games, though it might be fair to say he is riding the momentum of his team.

Jacob Oram – Chennai Super Kings

Oram has knocked 50-odd runs and knocked over 3 wickets in the 4 games he has had for the Chennai Super Kings, playing turn about with Andrew Flintoff it would seem. A decent performance, though he was in the news more for suggesting the IPL is a bigger priority for him than tests.

Jesse Ryder – Royal Challengers Bangalore

A real disappointment considering the expecations. Started out his IPL career with ducks in his first two matches. He has had one good knock of 32 in his 4 innings, but the fact that his overall aggregate is just 34 emphasises his poor overall performance. You could well imagine him to be nervous, though he never seems to show it, but it could just be Bangalore – they’re a team so lacking in spunk that even tearaways like Ryder and Pietersen get dragged down.

Doing great work as a part time bowler as usual. 3 wickets at 30, but under 7 an over.

Ross Taylor – Royal Challengers Bangalore

The other half of the stoner twins. Also picked up a duck in his first match, but is double Ryder’s tally (as of Sunday). Neither here nor there and hence pretty much invisible.

Scott Styris – Deccan Chargers

Also invisible. Only given 2 matches as of Sunday, with only one turn at bat (for 14). Outstanding bowling though, taking 5 wickets @ 12.8.

Kyle Mills – Mumbai Indians

Missing in action. Not given a run in any of Mumbai’s first 7 matches. Not a fair way to treat one-day cricket’s no. 2 bowler. I guess the recent series with India has damaged his reputation.

So, a real disappointment so far. A good record by Vettori more than matched by terrible performances by Ryder and McCullum, McCullum’s lasting for 7 matches. With Oram, Taylor and Styris phoning in some pretty average efforts. It would have been nice to see at least one standout performance from the six of them. Still, it is still early on. After all, Taylor has only faced about 10 overs in total, just as an e.g. Any of them, and Mills, could put on some fireworks in the second half.

For the record, the highest score for any Kiwi is 41* for Oram and the best bowling is 3/15 by Vettori.

Mar 16 2009

Rankings, now updated

In the middle of the ODI series, where Indian were flaying the Black Caps, Stuff were exclaiming that Vettori was holding onto his no. 1 ranking. Not likely. By the time that article saw print Vettori had already dropped to 2nd, as the recently updated rankings now show. Vettori has now in fact dropped to 5th, after going wicketless in Auckland.

Kyle Mills managed to hold onto this spot at 3, thanks to his 1/27 in Auckland. Jacob Oram dwindled a bit, dropping from 14 before the series to 19 afterwards. Patel and Southee also slipped, while O’Brien, Ryder, Elliott and Butler don’t even make it into the top 100 (they are, respectively, 118, 137, 131 and 127).

Somehow I expected things to be worse for our bowlers.

Amongst the batsmen, Ryder reached a career high of 47, which is quite impressive considering he was ranked 77 before the series. Guptill was similarly successful; starting the tour at 72 and reaching 44 by the end.

Our highest ranked batsmen remains Taylor, who has slipped out of the top 20 over the series to sit at 23. McCullum is also in the 20s, at 27, where he started the series.  Styris drops into the 30s, despite not getting a bat in his one game, though that will include some degradation from missing the Chappell–Hadlee. Oram’s 8 runs in 3 innings pushes him into the 40s.

Elliott dipped slightly from 57 to 60, though that could have been as bad as 65 if it wasn’t for his furious cameo in Hamilton. Neil Broom just squeezes into the top 200. Kyle Mills didn’t improve his batting ranking much, though he finishes at 19 as an all-rounder. The biggest mover of all was Peter McGlashan,whose late innings heroics in Hamilton boosted his ranking from 329 to 235.

Dec 11 2008

Selections – the batting bowlers

A wonky distribution of runs amongst the batting order is a feature of NZ cricket. The success or failure of an innings often depends on the middle order. It is extremely lucky for us then that we have such good allrounders. In fact, our allrounders are the best players in the team.

Daniel Vettori

Excellent bowler and middle-order batsman par exellence, so not much to say about his selection. He’d make just about every team in the world, maybe not for his bowling in some teams, but certainly for his all-round ability.

Jacob Oram

Again, an instant selection, barring injury. Even though he often bats at 7, he is one of our best batsmen. His bowling is also ‘handy’. So he wouldn’t hold his place in the team based on his bowling alone (does that disqualify him as an allrounder?), but considering that 3rd seamers are often in the mould of Scott Styris, Oram’s bowling is a huge asset.

James Franklin

It remains to be seen how the injury layoff has effected Franklin’s game. Before injury he was second only to Shane Bond as a bowler, so that should now make him our best. However, his injury is likely to have slowed him down and he is unlikely to bowl as much as he did before. Pre-injury, it really seemed that he had not fulfilled his potential as a batsman. There is a big difference between his test and first-class averages. He has been working hard on his batting, so it may be that what we lose from his bowling, we gain in his batting.