We've been here before right? A touring Asian team comes to Aotearoa with limited preparation and the Blackcaps win, with enough blokes finding runs/wickets to leave everyone's puku full. Bangladesh offered a niggly contest in the first ODI and this wasn't easy for Aotearoa to snare victory, however after taking 4 wickets in the first 10 overs, the result was never really in doubt regardless of what Bangladesh did after that.
Without the World Cup goggles on, this game would have me enjoying the fact that most of the Blackcaps players filled their cups up. Lads who we want to see well, did well and in a weird off the top of the noggin' thought; life's pretty sweet when the Blackcaps are playing well during a kiwi summer.
I can't overlook the vibes from winning, no matter how much of a duty I have to offer a different perspective. Appreciate what we've got with the Blackcaps, that they operate at a high enough level to rack up impressive wins (easily or via a bit of grit) against touring teams as they have done vs Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
How do we blend in the World Cup context though? That is the tricky task in writing about the Blackcaps and while it's important to enjoy 117* from Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls showing the batsmanship that I kinda want in the opening spot to hit 53 off 80 balls (66.25sr) and Ross Taylor continuing to establish himself as Aotearoa's greatest; Bangladesh don't have the scariest bowling attack.
There's nothing much more to it. If Colin Munro opened the innings, he probably would have smacked 80 off 45 balls or something along those lines. With that in mind, anyone who now has Nicholls as a certainty to open the innings at the World Cup is being weird. I am still of the belief that Nicholls has the tools to give the Blackcaps the look at the top of the order, that I want.
My preference is for bit more craft in the opening roles. Your preference may be for a whacker and thus you want Munro. All good either way, I must just reinforce that this opening debate isn't so much about who is better, but what you, me and most importantly coach Gaz and skipper Kane want from their openers.
Having highlighted Rohit Sharma's work from the previous series, the strike-rates of the kiwi batsmen in this game were rather interesting given the belief that you need to spark up within the first few overs. Guptill is a stroker, but requires time to settle and after 10 overs he had 22 runs off 25 balls. Guppy finished with a strike-rate of 100.86, which he worked into throughout the innings.
Nicholls' strike-rate was 66.25, Williamson's 50 and Ross Taylor finished with 91.83sr. Only one Blackcaps batsman had a strike-rate over 100 - barely over 100 - and the Blackcaps scored at 5.23rpo. That scoring rate would have had them on track for a total of 261 and at the end of the 40th over, the kiwis had 198 runs on the board. With wickets in hand, it's completely rational to hope for 150 runs from the last 10 overs, 100 runs at least and that gets you up over 300.
That is to say that there are different ways to get up to and beyond 300 runs. For much of their tenure, the Lesson regime went about this with the intention to take the initiative early via Munro. Again, it's up to you what you prefer - I like the chances of Nicholls laying a platform over Munro having a good day.
With the ball it was as expected, given that Bangladesh have been in Aotearoa for less than a week and had the opposite preparation to India. Matt Henry took 2w @ 5.33rpo, Tren Boult took 3w @ 4.06rpo, Colin de Grandhomme didn't take a wicket but was stingey with 3.80rpo, Lockie Ferguson took 2w @ 4.40rpo, Mitchell Santner took 3w @ 5.62rpo and Jimmy Neesham was solid with no wickets @ 3.71rpo.
Great, lovely, splendid. Worthy of celebration, just keep a lid on making grand World Cup judgements given the context.
The Blackcaps bowlers took 10w, but for me, with that bigger picture in mind, this bowling attack was the economy unit. Maybe a better label is the butter chicken bowling attack, as there isn't much spice or funk to it. This bowling attack will do the job in Aotearoa and a good stat to through up at this point is Henry averaging 20.68 in Aotearoa, compared to 52.75 in Australia, 50.20 in England and 35.66 in India.
Against a touring Asian team with minimal preparation, this bowling attack will do the job. Outside of Aotearoa and/or against better opposition, there needs to be more spice and funk. That kinda sums up my vibes at the moment as what we saw in the first ODI vs Bangladesh was good, but will it win a World Cup in England?
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Peace and love 27.