The National Angstometer went in two directions today. That was a really reassuring innings from Taylor. He was a little bit scratchy to start with, but then gradually the footwork got going and he started to look like the Taylor of 12 months ago.
However, the needle is starting to point towards the red bit when it comes to Guptill. He effectively scored 28/3 today
And let’s hope we don’t get any “DRS is down” moments during the World Cup. That was pretty embarrassing really.
The one blight on Taylor’s day was, of course, the run-out of Williamson. Despite the sugar-coating from the TV commentators, this was a clear case of a run-out being one person’s fault. There was always at least the possibility of a second run, he jogged the first, then made no eye contact with Williamson. Taylor looked noticeably more alert and proactive when running after that.
Anderson, Ronchi and Elliott all chipped in at the end. The encouraging thing there was how they all got going quickly.
Anderson’s performance with the ball was almost as encouraging as Taylor’s return to batting form. There has been the perception that he is the weak link in this bowling attack. He was sharp today, including getting it through at upwards of 140 kph. This effort will have given him a lot of confidence.
The other bowlers to make a move up the rankings today were Vettori and Boult. Vettori brought out all the tricks today, and his economy rate in the middle overs was a huge factor in the run-outs. To go for less than three runs an over when a side is chasing over 300.
Boult was impressive for the second match in a row. He was threatening and economical with the new ball but, more impressively, even better when returning in the Power Play where he removed Sangakkara.
Now to those awkward MVP points. Vettori and Boult miss out with performances that would normally qualify.
- Ross Taylor. Back in business. He just needs to sort out his running now.
- Kane Williamson. Ahead of Taylor because he was set for a really big one, and it was not his fault he got out.
- Corey Anderson. A true all-rounder’s performance. His batting was a big factor in New Zealand getting over 300, and the bowling figures speak for themselves.