Now that the dust has settled on The Great Fightback, the Triple Century, the World Record Partnership and the Statadelica we can now take a deep breath and look back on the home summer of 2013 / 4.
It really was an extraordinary three months that is quite possibly at the top of international seasons. Five tests bringing three wins and two draws. Nine completed ODIs for six wins, two losses and a tie. And two T20 wins.
India were winless. Taking out Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, and the first tour from Sri Lanka, the only other winless tourists to New Zealand were the West Indians of 1999/2000. But later that season Australia was to tour and balance the ledger.
During the summer of 1985/6 New Zealand won home and away test series against Australia which has to be the pinnacle of the premier form of the sport. But NZ failed to make the finals of the Tri-series in Australia that season, so falls short when measured in an overall context.
The only other season to compare would be in 1980 when New Zealand put their foot on the throat of the sulking West Indians.
Strangely enough, the season will probably be remembered most fondly for that drawn test at The Basin. And at least we can now go past Mark Greatbatch in Perth as the benchmark for gutsy rear-guard batting; that was starting to feel a long time ago.
But there was so much more than that. For example seven weeks ago Jesse Ryder scored the sixth fastest ODI century in the history of the game. Doesn’t that seem like a long time ago now?
So here, to print out and put on the fridge, are some of what took place since early and December..
- In five tests New Zealanders scored nine centuries including a treble and two doubles.
- Trent Boult took four wickets in the space of six balls and became a genuine test spearhead.
- On bowling, every single spell with the new ball brought at least one wicket.
- Never ever forget Wagner’s 11 over match-turning spell against India at Eden Park.
- Corey Anderson’s world record knock in Queenstown
- Corey Anderson nearly breaking the record for the fastest 50 against India.
- Jimmy Neesham’s test debut; a debut to rank alongside those of Mat Sincalir and Bruce Taylor.
- The grindingly metronomic performances in the ODIs against India.
Even the scheduling worked. That test series win against the West Indies was overdue, and vital for the credibility of the team. But still people complained; wait until India got here.
And then India was despatched. But still; wait until they can do it away from home.
Next up it is a tour to the West Indies, which is winnable followed by a trickier tour of Pakistan (in Dubai)
So don’t get off the bandwagon just yet.
If only there was a third test going on against India now.