Blackcaps loss to South Africa 'unacceptable' - Craig McMillan

Ross Houston
March 20, 2017

Tom Latham's form is an increasing problem - his poor run in one-day cricket now affecting his Test returns which, overall, are very solid - but in reality, there is not a vast amount more the selectors can do. It's an Irish place called Murphy's. Ross Taylor through a minor calf tear.

Even coach Mike Hesson is man down‚ with a stomach bug. He also believes that New Zealand have "the best in the world" in their captain.

And all that after SA won by eight wickets in three days at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead to Hamilton. The simple answer to that‚ it seems‚ is that the Kiwis don't have anyone better than the players now in their dressing room.

New Zealand will still be without their most experienced batsman however with Ross Taylor still sidelined with a calf injury.

Larsen said if there were other opening batting candidates who were "shooting the lights out and putting in front of the selectors really compelling reasons to pick them then we would have had that discussion (about dropping Latham).so I guess that's a challenge from me to domestic batsmen - 'get out there and put the numbers up".

"We want to see greater fight, which is a hallmark of the good Black Caps teams and we've seen a lot of that in the last two or three years".

He was dismissed twice by Morne Morkel in Wellington.

But the leprechaun amid the shamrocks was left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj‚ who claimed career-best figures of 6/40 in the second innings to finish with a match haul of 8/87.

New Zealand - both the players and management - have been reluctant to say that the visit of South Africa would define their season. Just the fact that two series before that, Bangladesh and Pakistan were here and they played on surfaces that were quite sporting for the seamers.

The Kiwis' quicks took 37 of the 39 Pakistani wickets that fell and‚ against Bangladesh‚ 34 of 36.

"I think they have shot themselves in the foot". Having recovered to be 217 for 5 on the opening day in Wellington, they collapsed to the part-time offspin of JP Duminy; in the middle of the second day - after having South Africa 94 for 6 - Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma added 160 before the last-wicket pair then added 57 to treble the lead and, with the deficit nearly wiped out, they handed Keshav Maharaj two wickets in an over. Yesterday they didn't stand up. "We need to get him back to making those good decisions and everything else will flow from there", he added.

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