The Kiwis seem to be unable to win anything other than T20s. The players that fell left and right to the deadly Sri Lankan bowlers have maintained their miserable batting in this game, with the exception of Taylor who also performed averagely in the Tests. The bowler (yes unfortunately for New Zealand, they have only one consistent wicket taker) who bowled tidily in the Tests, did the same phenomenal job in the T20 game. Dilshan, who clobbered the Kiwis in the first test, almost took the game away from them today. Most of the factors remain the same, but the results vary.
So what is it? Are the Black Caps unable to focus for more than 40 overs? That doesn't seem to be case, because they are number 5 in the ICC ODI rankings at the moment. So, they can focus for one day? After that they just follow a pattern of visiting the pitch for a short while and running around the field for fun.
But I like the Kiwis and I think they are a very good team. Horribly underrated though. Look at the current series against Sri Lanka. Both Tests went to Day 5 and they were batting second both times. Awesome Dan's heroics almost won the second test. If only Oram had been able to keep it together!
New Zealand is capable of providing many moments of anxiety for the opposition team and they are certainly capable of winning T20s. Yet they hardly win tests. Sri Lanka on the other hand are number 2 in the Test rankings at the moment. But ICC Test and ODI rankings seem unable to explain the results of this circus of a game. Sometimes it's one individual performance, sometimes it's sheer luck, sometimes its the team. More often than not, it's all about who is unfazed by the demands of the format and can keep his cool till the last ball.
Twenty20 results don't mean anything in a series...I firmly maintain that. But it frustrates me to accept that cricket has become a game of luck and show offs with no brilliant scheming or mind games involved. It gives a platform for mediocre teams to claim glory (the English!) and exceptional teams to fall flat on their faces (Sri Lanka). So even if cricketers have figured out what it takes to win a Twenty20 game, I don't think they should take it seriously. Because the Kiwis will win Friday's T20 and then get hammered at the ODI's. It will happen. You just wait and see.