The Black Caps tied the series with South Africa 1-1. Photo / Photo port
Niall Anderson analyzes how the 11 Black Caps performed in the 1-1 draw against South Africa.
Tom Latham – 2
Stats: 16 runs at 5.3
A very bad series for the New Zealand skipper,
who fell into leg traps twice in the second Test and is now averaging 9.8 in 10 innings against South Africa. Latham isn’t alone in doing worse against stronger opposition – logic dictates that most players will average much higher against weaker teams than good teams – but if he wants to leave a legacy as New Zealand’s leading flyhalf, he needs a big score or two on the tours of England and Pakistan later this year.
Will Young – 2
Stats: 11 runs at 3.7
It was a disastrous run for New Zealand’s first games, with Latham’s returns of 15, 0 and 1 combined with Young’s 8, 3 and 0 to total just 27 runs in six innings – one of worst opening performances in New Zealand Test history. . At least Young had a highlight though, taking a sensational hold at the midwicket boundary.
Devon Conway – 7
Stats: 144 runs to 48
Shaken off relatively comfortably with scores of 36, 16 and 92, although it’s a sign of its class that an average of 48 in two tests is considered somewhat underwhelming. Conway now averages 63.9 in seven tests, although he showed signs of vulnerability when stepping out on the inside edges and his trademark film on the legs. It’s hard to worry too much until opposing teams average below 50.
Henry Nicholls – 7
Stats: 151 runs at 50.3
Raised his eighth Test century with 105 in the first Test, riding his luck early but playing smart aggressive style on a tricky wicket. Looked set to rack up more runs in the second test but was lured into a trap and threw his wicket for 39 before playing a bad shot at Keshav Maharaj in the second inning. All in all, it was the quintessential Henry Nicholls experience – the shots and performances that showed his class at the highest level, and the dismissals that showed why people often want more.
Daryl Mitchell – 6
Stats: 100 runs at 33.3
Made a fighting 60 in the second test to help the Black Caps fight back, and faced 46 and 72 in his other two shots as one of the few batsmen to tee off in every inning. His debut on the first slide in place of Ross Taylor also went well, and while he could retire from the side when Kane Williamson returns, Mitchell is undoubtedly the next batsman in line and should play a lot more tests.
Tom Blundell – 7
Stats: 146 runs at 48.7
Blundell’s 96 in the first Test showed how smooth he can play down the side of the legs, but exacerbated the simmering theory that he is best placed to score in easier situations against tired bowlers with dots already on the board. The theory – that he is a bit of the opposite of his nugget predecessor BJ Watling – continued when he played for six in the first innings of the second Test, but he toned down that chatter slightly with 44 balls on 109 in the second excavation. It was also the best streak for Blundell behind the stumps, taking some great trappings and looking neater than ever.
Greatman’s Quake – 8
Statistics: 183 runs at 91.5, one wicket at 33
De Grandhomme gave the Black Caps a chance in the second Test that their first order didn’t deserve, saving them from 91-5 with a brilliant unbeaten 120, his best Test innings. Further contributions of 45, 18 and an economy bowling that produced a wicket put him back as part of selection for the England tour.
Kyle Jamieson – 5
Stats: Six wickets at 33, 40 runs at 13.3
The test honeymoon is over for Jamieson, who was the worst New Zealand designer on the show and whose batting steadily regressed. After hitting 30 in five of his first six Test innings, he hasn’t topped 23 in his next 12, while the expected regression to average has seen his bowling solid without hitting the devastating lines and lengths. which he nailed during his introduction. There’s no need to panic, but he could soon be looking over his shoulder if Matt Henry maintains his solid form.
Tim Southee – 7
Stats: Nine wickets at 25.9, 17 runs at 8.7
Fantastic in the first Test with six wickets which saw him become New Zealand’s top wicket-taker at home. Not quite as stellar in the second Test, but continues his rise up the list of all-time Test wickets, passing Allan Donald in 26th, with 338 scalps.
Neil Wagner – 8
Statistics: Nine wickets to 23.7, 80 runs to 40
Never has a man about to turn 36 looked so energetic. Not particularly required with the ball in the first Test after the duo of new balls destroyed the visitors, it was Wagner who helped give hope in the second, taking four first-inning wickets and two key scalps from second innings that gave New Zealand a sniffle. . He also helped demoralize the South Africans in the first test with an entertaining 49, and while his skills will surely start to decline soon, there’s no evidence he’s slowing down yet.
Matt Henry – 9
Statistics: 14 wickets to 16.1, 58 runs to 29
The series standout bowler, Henry’s 7-23 in the opening innings of the first Test set up a beating, with his unbeaten 58 at No. 11 a delightful bonus in the best Test of his career. He was good without as many accolades in the second Test, and although he’s likely to go back to Trent Boult if everyone is fit in England in June, Henry has finally proven himself at Test level.