Black Caps skipper Ross Taylor has come out with some very confident words just days before the start of the two Test match trans-Tasman clash. Taylor, speaking to journalists at the Vettori Institute of Cricket, had been watching Australia’s display with the bat against South Africa and stated that this was New Zealand’s finest opportunity to sneak a draw in a generation.
“I was watching the panic setting in as they stumbled to 21/9 in the second innings,” said Taylor with a smile. “They will be worried about that lack of focus, and if it happens again then we might just chip away often enough for them to delay their inevitable declaration for long enough that we can bat out a draw.”
Taylor’s bold claims have been met with some negativity from cricket commentators around the world. “I’m all for captain’s saying that they are looking to bat for a draw. That is an admirable goal.” said former England captain Geoff Boycott. “But don’t get cocky. These Kiwi lads are best with their backs to the wall and with nothing to lose. All this confidence will come back to haunt them. Listen to me, I’m important”.
Another former England skipper, Tony Greig, was also quick to encourage the Black Caps to show more restraint. “I know a thing or two about making ridiculously confident claims before a big series. My advice is to not even talk to the media. Ever. About anything.” Reporters here at The Daily Beige are unable to pinpoint exactly which series he is talking about but it is suspected it refers to the 1976/77 tour of India which England won 3-1 despite Greig embarrassingly boasting of a 4-1 victory beforehand.
Eyebrows were raised further when New Zealand’s most successful Test opener in months, Martin Guptill, weighed in with a claim that he thought there was a great chance for the Australian’s to claim the lowest test total off New Zealand. Most commentators agree that it is possible the lowest score will be broken, but that it is unlikely to change countries any time soon.