Eight New Zealanders have got a five wicket bag on debut, and in most cases that has not really led to a stellar career, although Mark Gillespie’s test bowling average of under 29 is not to be scoffed at.
And, as a side note, it’s one of the great NZ head scratchers that Tim Southee’s debut test is remembered mainly for his batting.
Colin de Grandhomme is kind of like a shorter version of Jacob Oram when it comes to bowling but he made sure this was his day. And there were a few stars that aligned to make today happen.
Mitchell Santner’s injury.
Santner was one of about five lock-ins for this test when the side crept back into the country following the Indian tour.
The broken wrist a couple of weeks ago meant that the balance of the side needed some rework. It is difficult to see how CdH could have got a first test start in a side including Santner.
Neesham / CJA Anderson
Two years ago this pair was seen as the future great rivalry of New Zealand cricket. A couple of class all-rounders, identified at an early age, that were about to embark on a decade long battle to see who could be the greatest all-rounder of them all.
Neesham had become the first New Zealander to score centuries in his first two tests. Anderson had the world’s fastest ODI century, and had a Golden Arm.
Neither of them are now able, for varying reasons, to bowl the number of overs required for a day of test cricket. Note that CdH bowled near on 16 overs today and showed no signs of tiring or wanting a break.
Micky Arthur’s Homework
Arthur has done a good job since taking over Pakistan. He is famously, and comically, known for his attention to detail in analysing opponents’ patterns and styles. It is more than likely that he did ot have a lot of footage of Colin de Grandhomme.
Cricket in New Zealand in November
To paraphrase a former US President. It’s all about accuracy, stupid.
De Grandhomme may not have necessarily etched out a long test career on the basis of this. But he’s likely to be one of the first names written down for the Chappell-Hadlee series. And ODI cricket is probably his best long-term future.
It’s funny how cricket works out these days.