Of course Tim Southee was going to slide into the final ODI of the kiwi summer and take 6 wickets vs Bangladesh to wrap up a series sweep for Aotearoa's Blackcaps. That simply feels like the most fitting way to finish the ODI summer and an incredibly awkward series vs Bangladesh in which us kiwi cricketing plebs didn't learn a whole lot about who has booked a ticket to the World Cup.
I mean, I'm not any wiser about the lads who had question marks hovering over their heads and while I've been fairly positive about coach Gaz and his new regime; all of this is eerily similar to the shambles of the Champions Trophy preparations. Take a geeze at Todd Astle, a bloke who was ushered into the squad to face Bangladesh with the fairly logical rational of giving Astle every chance to prove himself.
Astle played just the one game, joining Southee as the only Blackcap bowler to play one of the three games. At this point of the summer, heading into a Test series where Trent Boult will definitely feature heavily and we already know what Boulty's capable of in ODI cricket, Astle could have played in place of Boult and let the other seamers take on greater responsibility.
Boult's workload has been kinda bonkers come to think of it, having only missed the third ODI vs Sri Lanka. There doesn't appear to be much point to that, especially when the Blackcaps are bullying Bangladesh and there is more value in seeing others either step up, or let their opportunity drift away.
Whether it's Astle's lack of game time, or Boult's unnecessary workload; all these antics from the Blackcaps vs Bangladesh series is summed up by Southee stepping in and ripping through Bangladesh. Four days ago, Southee took 1w @ 8.25rpo in 4ov for Northern Districts Knights in their loss to Central Districts Stags who went on to win the Super Smash. First of all, Southee was playing Super Smash because he hasn't been commanding ODI selection and/or is being rested (viable idea in conjunction with his lack of ODI wickets), then Southee didn't dominate that Super Smash game and then Southee comes into the Blackcaps and takes the same number of wickets as Boult's series-haul, in one game.
I wish I could be more concise with my thoughts, sharper in describing how I feel about the Blackcaps ODI group and channel these ideas as insights. Instead, it's a big pile of poo and I have no idea what's going on and the only clarity sits with Colin Munro, who is watching his World Cup hopes fade off in the rear-view.
However, I'm not completely certain that Munro will not be at the World Cup and based on what we know about the Blackcaps decision-makers, it's not crazy to think that Munro will still be the opener in the first World Cup game. That wouldn't be the weirdest thing we've seen under Gav Larsen's watch and considering that not many of the selection decisions made any sense in this Bangladesh series, I'd suggest Larsen has Gary Stead on the leash.
When I start to dip into this mode of Blackcaps confusion, I look to the big uce Ross Taylor for warmth.
To add to those exceptional records, here are Taylor's ODI numbers from the three series of the kiwi summer...
3inns, 281 runs @ 93.66avg/102.93sr.
5inns, 177 runs @ 44.25avg/88.05sr.
3inns, 135 runs @ 135avg (2 not outs), 89.40sr.
The funkiest stats that I'm going to keep checking in on as King Rossco continues to lead by example, revolve around Taylor's work since January 1st, 2017. Having hit a quarter of his centuries in the last two years (5 of 20), Taylor has also hit roughly a quarter of his total runs in the last two years (2,200 of 8,026). For a bloke who debuted in 2006, this is freskish and during this period, Taylor is averaging 70.96.
Right now, Taylor is the greatest batsman Aotearoa has ever seen. Opinions will always differ, but the case for Taylor is rather comprehensive and this run-scoring wave that Taylor is riding late in his career is one of my favourite kiwi sports yarns of the decade. We are witnessing pure excellence, a legend of Aotearoa at the peak of his powers and I never want it to end.
Ah but fuck it, the Blackcaps bowled 18 wides in the third ODI to go with their 17 wides in game two and 16 wides in game one. Lol.
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Peace and love 27.