Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Our World Cup Squad:
The Black Caps squad for the world cup has been announced:
Stephen Fleming (c)
Peter Fulton *
Michael Mason *
* Fulton and Mason have not been included in the Chappell Hadlee series and will be available for their respective provinces.
It's about what was expected - apart from the shock inclusion of Darryl Tuffey. The rationale from Bracewell is that he is the perfect replacement for Kyle Mills because he can swing the ball away from the right hander and has been in good domestic form. He's certainly a preferable option to Adams who I believe is really not up to the rigours of international bowling. Yes he used to have the x factor of having the happy knack of taking wickets but he's erratic and generally shows poor line and length. Who are the other options? There is Chris Martin who is not suited to one day cricket. Then there is Chris Harris who could be useful on the slow West Indies pitches and has been in great form for Canterbury. Unfortunately international teams are well used to his style of bowling and thus he holds little danger to them. He would have the advantage though of strengthening the squad's batting depth. Still, overall, I believe Harris to be the past - though I'm not sure that Tuffey is the future!
Is it right that they only have one batsman as backup? Given that bowlers are the ones to break down more often it's probably a wise move. But one backup is kind of light. Having said that if we have a couple of injuries/loss of form the likes of Vettori and Franklin can go up the order to take their place. What of McMillan over Marshall? I think that's the correct decision. The only thing that would tempt me to take a Marshall (and it would be Hamish), is his ability in the field. McMillan has shown in the CB series that he is worth his place. Just as Lou Vincent has proved me wrong to a certain extent, and started getting some consistently reasonable scores.
I also hope that Fulton's exclusion from the Chappel-Hadlee is not an indication that he will not be starting at the world cup. We need Fulton's classy brand of cricket, and Fulton does need game time.
I hope that New Zealand stop's its obsession with hitting boundaries and realises a high run rate can be made up of lots of singles and twos. It's one area we have always seemed to lack in, and it's high time we started improving in this area.
And before I finish my post I just want to scream three words: ASTLE ASTLE ASTLE! Why has everybody stopped talking about his decision to retire? It was on the tip of everyone's tongue for a sum total of about 3 hours and then it was forgotten. Why retire in the middle of the series? Why not have the world cup as a swansong? Was he pushed out? Is he bitter with Bracewell? Is he making a point against the rotation policy? Or was he purely and simply just fed up with cricket? I don't really know but I sure as hell wish people would talk about him more. Oh well I'll just go back to daydreaming about his swashbuckling 222 in the test match against England a few years back!