Another ODI vs Bangladesh in Aotearoa, another win, another strong bowling display, another Guppy century and another half-century in support. For Blackcaps fans, there was more of the confidence building antics in the 2nd ODI vs Bangladesh as the kiwis dismissed the tourists for 226 with every kiwi bowler taking a wicket, before Martin Guptill hit 118 off 88 balls and Kane Williamson hit 65* off 86 to steer the gang to victory.
Having hit a three 50+ scores in four game (76, 1, 55 vs Sri Lanka, then 64 vs India), Williamson finally got back above 50 after five games of niggly starts. Most of those game against India, a symbol of the frustrations from that series and that Williamson toiled hard to ensure, or force his way to a nice stay at the crease in this game is perhaps the most interesting note about the game.
Other than that, it was another fairly easy outing for the Blackcaps. Nothing in these two games however, suggests that the Blackcaps are an awesome ODI team right now and this is of slight concern - with mad churs to Bangladesh and their own grit to not get smoked. The bowlers take early wickets and in the 2nd game they had Bangladesh 48/3 around the 10 over mark (12.2) and then 93/5 (20.5) before Bangladesh worked their way to 168/6 ... then up over 200.
That's just annoying more than anything; Bangladesh shouldn't have gone 200+ in either game. I won't go too much further into my thoughts about the lack of real weaponry in this Blackcaps bowling attack, because that can get a bit repetitive. I will however suggest that while these have been two 'fairly easy' wins for the Blackcaps, they haven't blown me away with how awesome they are.
Especially when considering how slick Mr Extras has been with the run-scoring for Bangladesh. Game tahi saw the Blackcaps give up 27 extras, 17 of which came via a no ball and wides, then in game rua there were 23 extras with 17 wides. This aligns with the general vibe of the series so far as the bowlers have taken 20 wickets and set things up nicely, however the bowlers have conceded far too many crappy extras (no balls/wides) and have let Bangladesh cruise through the middle stages. Sharpen up with the crappy extras and a greater threat throughout the entire innings and Bangladesh would have been sub-200 in both games.
Guppy's been awesome and the return to form for everyone's favourite 9-toed creature has been a joy to watch. Back to back centuries and it's always nice to see a cricketer alter their game slightly from series to series, with Guptill ironing out a few wobbles that had popped up vs India. I've encountered a minor issue with Guptill's work though and as there's really not much to write about, follow me back to the start of the 2017 Champions Trophy...
2017 Champions Trophy
vs Australia: 26.
vs England: 27.
vs Bangladesh: 33.
October 2017 in India
23, 11, 10.
January 2018 vs Pakistan (Aotearoa)
48, 86*, 45, 31, 100.
February/March 2018 vs England
13, 50, 3, 0, 47.
January 2019 vs Sri Lanka
138, 13, 2.
January 2019 vs India
5, 15, 13, 14.
February 2019 vs Bangladesh
What I see there is a lot of runs either in Aotearoa, or against weaker opposition and not so many runs against better opposition or when it really, super duper matters like the Champions Trophy in England. Four centuries in this period, all of which have come in Aotearoa and Guptill has averaged under 30 in India and England since June 1, 2017.
This is heavily scewed by Guptill playing 19 games in Aotearoa and just 6 overseas, which smells a lot like many other kiwi cricketers in terms of us not really knowing whether they can be relied on overseas. This is backed up by Guptill's career stats which have him averaging 49.75 in Aotearoa, with 10 of his 16 ODI centuries coming in Aotearoa.
Guppy does average 87 in Zimbabwe though, yoza.
Beautifully, Guptill averages 43 in Australia and 54.33 in England. 33.40avg in South Africa and then sub-30 in Asia and West Indies. On a career level, there's nothing of note and Guptill's stats are status-quo for most kiwi batsmen who aren't quite on that Kane Williamson/Ross Taylor level in scoring runs everywhere. My caution zones in on the version of Guptill that will lead us into the World Cup and while he's smacking centuries against Bangladesh, in Aotearoa, Guptill's recent stats suggest that we all be cautious about his World Cup run-scoring.
My other Guptill related thought needs to be taken within context and in no way am I suggesting that I want Colin Munro in the Blackcaps, nor that Munro is any where close to being on Guppy's level;
This series feels like a series, or two games in which Munro would have scored runs.
That's exactly what Munro does. Against weak bowling attacks, Munro reminds kiwis that he's a super-blaster and I reckon it's completely rational to believe that Munro would have whacked 80 off 40 balls or something similar in both these games. Everything we know about Munro in ODI cricket has come vs weaker opposition. Munro's averages 48 vs Bangladesh, which is not only his best opponent-based average, it's also considerably higher than his career average of 25.28.
Insert Munro into Guptill's opening spot for those two games and Munro would have probably scored 40+ with strike-rates over 120. Everyone would be celebrating Munro as the guy to open at the World Cup and everyone else would be like wtf, it's vs Bangladesh. That kinda sums up my Blackcaps vs Bangladeh vibes right now and yeah.
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Peace and love 27.