New Zealand opt to bat and then bowl on the first morning

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Captain Brendon McCullum in more appropriate clothes

Brendon McCullum won the toss and elected to go home. Upon being told that the options were to bowl or bat, he opted for the latter. If it were a 44 all out kind of pitch, he’d have been vindicated.

Maybe McCullum was in two minds about what to do, in which case the good news is that South Africa still had to bat on the first morning of the Test. Or maybe in his role as opening batsman, he quickly assessed the pitch and concluded that his side needed to be bowling as soon as possible and just took it from there.

Either way, it was an exciting start to the Mike Hesson-Brendon McCullum era and completely justified the decision to humiliate Ross Taylor to the extent that he felt he couldn’t go on this tour.

Let’s relive the highlight. Here’s where New Zealand scored 11 per cent of their runs:

1.1 Philander to Guptill, 5 leg byes, big appeal first ball! Guptill got across his stumps and is taken on the pad but it’s missing leg stump. De Villiers chases the ball and throws at the non-striker’s end which results in four overthrows


  1. Cruel but fair KC. Presumably you are starting 2013 as you mean to go on. Happy new year to you.

    1. It’s hard to look past that prick Clarke. An average of 100+ with 1500+ runs is quite an achievement by any standards.

      Also, statsguru tells me HMRKB Herath is the highest wicket taker in 2012 with 60. This raises an interesting question: who the fuck is HMRKB Herath?

    2. Probably should be Philander. SA have finally been consistent with mainly the same side, he’s been the difference.

    3. Clarke had a fantastic year but of his 1500+ runs over 75% came in 4 big innings, all of which were played on pitches that were absolute roads.
      If you exclude those he scored 467 runs @ 35 or so.
      I know this isn’t an entirely fair comparison and don’t mean to discounting the massive amounts of concentration required to do this, but I don’t think he was as dominant as the raw statistics suggest.

    4. Well, if you take out all the big innings of a player, it is no surprise his average would drop. This is like saying if you discount the photoelectric effect and special and general relativity, Einstein didn’t do much as a physicist.

      Yes, I did cringe a little writing that. But my point stands.

    5. I ranted at the telly last night when after informing us that rail fares would go up by an average of 4.2% they explained in shocked tones “but some fare will go up by MORE”. I exclaimed that this was the nature of fornicating averages. Mrs. Smudge was indulgent and tolerant as ever. Surely by wolf’s measure, Watson (lots of fifties, not many tons) is a bonza player.

  2. Has to be Clarke.Michael Clarke has successfully almost transformed himself from some sort of fashion cliched metrosexual into a good captain and an outstanding batsman. I could not stand the the old Clarke but as he has matured he is showing he is a leader and will definitely become one of the all time greats. I was wrong about him.
    To score as he did against the SA attack showed his class. As did his leadership in getting the OZ team to perform way above their abilities against the Proteas.

  3. As a NZer, I’m pretty excited about this Hesson-McCullum era. I’m expecting to see some records broken. Worst test score in 38 years… pah. We can do better than that. Lowest test score of 26… now that is a record begging to be broken.

    I think NZC needs to piss off Kane Williamson first, his pesky 13 runs in that first innings is the sort of thing that’ll stop NZC reaching peak performance.

  4. LMoG – either Cook or Amla. Cook, for my money. Apart from other hugely important things such as runs, he played an important role in letting the England dressing room know that they have no business hounding one of their best batsmen out of the team. Worth a lot more than the runs he scored, his captaincy and the leadership he provided to his team.

  5. Amla has been phenomenal and would get it for me. Clarke deserves a mention of course, as does Cook.

    Anticipation is building KC – when will you put us out of our misery.

    1. People say “tomorrow”, but they don’t really mean tomorrow. People don’t do what they say.

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