Statistics, form, momentum, direction of travel are all intertwined sporting buzzwords in the 21st century, and need to be treated carefully when looking at the tea leaves.
But with the New Zealand cricket team about to leave for a much anticipated test tour of Australia tomorrow, and that tour containing only one four day game before the first test at Fortress Gabba, we need to go with what we can get.
And what we can get is the first round of the Plunket Shield which finished yesterday. The squad
Trent Boult 0*. 1/74 & 5/97
Doug Bracewell 24. 5/67 & 1/46
Mark Craig 18. 2/164 (39 overs)
Martin Guptill 32 & 84*
Matt Henry 35 & 23. 2/76 & 0/48
Tom Latham 18 & 21
Brendon McCullum (c) N/A. Out of the country.
James Neesham 131 & 15*. 1/52
Luke Ronchi 115 & 15
Hamish Rutherford 79 & 2
Tim Southee 4. 5/56 & 1/76
Ross Taylor 48
BJ Watling 89
Kane Williamson 65. 0/9
That return probably exceeded expectations by some distance. The exceptions were Latham and Craig, but in the case of the latter at least he had a decent stint at the crease. He, more than most, seems to get better as test series develop.
And stats aside, it was the time in the middle that was the key all round. And it also shows the selectors know a thing or two.