For our White Fern women cricketers, that win over Pakistan yesterday morning would have come as a welcome tonic on the heels of those rather heavy-looking defeats to India and Australia. Because the events of late have all been just a wee bit heartbreaking.
Beating those two powers was always going to be a monumental ask, but the downward spiralling form of the team over a longish period would have been enough of a psychological barrier to victory, let alone the lack of synergy, lack of momentum, lack of cohesion etc that they almost appear to have inflicted upon themselves of late.
There appears to be some pretty plain clues to the root cause of all the malaise and poor form- it comes in the shape of Suzie Bates’s exit from the captaincy interview. You can read it right here. It’s certainly revealing, and a great job done by Andrew Alderson from the Herald.
Is it possible for those with some clout to quite literally implore coach Haidee Tiffin to stop playing guinea pig experiments with our batting order? To have a lower-order batswoman like Anna Peterson selected to open in the first match against India was a highly desperate decision and very puzzling. It can’t be judged any other way, going by the outright confusion from almost all quarters since. It’s all looking like a bit of a schemozzle and re-arranging the Titanic deck chairs.
Another godsforsaken and no doubt extremely costly NZ sporting review is now going to go ahead, with ex-Otago wicketkeeper Martyn Croy in charge. Do we need it? No. Will it end with the coach tendering her resignation? Highly possible. Although she may decide to cut ties sooner rather than later.
In relation to using Peterson at the top, years ago on the men’s side of things, John Bracewell was tried out as a flier at the top of the order in some one dayers over in Oz. The only flying he ever did in that particular spot was back to the pavilion pronto in the form of two or three swift ducks. In essence, this kind of tactic has ever really worked when players of already proven ability to flay attacks have been given a go. Such as Ian Botham.
Should we actually accept that the Ferns at present are not quite as good as we may have thought. The depth just doesn’t seem to be there when required at the highest level. NZC probably need to think closely about the domestic T20 window here, in respect of getting the best talent together at the same time.
Here are another couple of suppositions (although the nature of suppositions themselves can be a bit like that old game of join the dots on a piece of paper to create the zoo animal…blindfolded): Have the other teams at the top got that bit better during the period of the Ferns being in their rut? And what about the recent upgrade to the lives of the players in their employment contracts and conditions? The money is better and so is the travelling, but has it all gone to their heads ever so slightly? Don’t get me wrong on this point. But on a sub-conscious level among the group, might it have had a modicum of an effect?
I really like the Ferns and following the players from the times way back in the interprovincial Hansells Cup/Hallyburton-Johnstone Shield, and I hope they get back on track soon. Before any confounded and needlessly protracted review is undertaken. Just open a few beers or wines and go and nut it out in a quiet bar somewhere would be a much better way to resolve whatever is gnawing away. And leave the technical stuff for a day a bit further off.
Email me: Paul, firstname.lastname@example.org