• Bush Fire Smoke Produces Black Cap Lethargy

    The Black Caps were whitewashed for the 10th time in 90 years’ worth of Test cricket.

    The optimist in us has nothing to say.

    The first Test was a 296-run loss. Maybe the optimist in us could say that the Black Caps managed to keep it under 300, but that might be a bit of a reach.

    The second Test produced a 247-run loss in Melbourne and the third Test was a 279-run loss.

    Yeah, it was in the Aussies’ back yard, but the Black Caps had elevated themselves to the No. 2 Test ranking according to the ICC figures, so something a little closer could have been anticipated.

    The last time New Zealand lost a Test series was nearly three years ago, in March of 2017, when the Proteas proved the New Zealand foil.

    It is one thing to lose a series, but a little competition would have been nice, especially taking into consideration that since the home loss to South Africa, New Zealand have won six of seven with one drawn result.

    Not even the penalty runs handed to the Black Caps in the final Test were able to ignite some fight, but such was not the case.

    We were still babes the last time New Zealand produced a clunker of this magnitude, a 4 – 0 whitewash in England.

    We were just starting elementary school when England came over and handed the Black Caps a 3 – 0 sweep.

    Just prior to the latest debacle, India was the deliverer of a severe knock, with wins by 197, 178 and an astonishing 321.

    Ninety-four Test sides never scored lower than the 256 New Zealand produced in Sydney.

    India are coming over for a couple Tests and in typical fashion, wasted no time in delivering sound bites such as, “Play in the shadows,” and “The uncomfortable truth.”

    In the words of cricket correspondent Bharat Sundaresan, “They didn’t face Australia or India, home or away, and didn’t have to tour South Africa. The three teams basically, who they simply haven’t managed to compete against or even push to any great extent in recent years.”

    Climbing up the table on the backs of lesser countries is one way to get there, but when it comes time to produce against the major powers, New Zealand have failed spectacularly.