Mark Richardson: Time to see if lessons were learnt

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It is fair enough to express disappointment and concern from the last few months' proceedings but it is unfair to judge them solely on the past couple of months. The Black Caps will beat Bangladesh and beat them well. If they don't, then harsh judgement will rain down and fairly so.

Forget test matches for the time being because the Black Caps have not been flash at those for some time (and have played very few of them for some time). Sure, Australia dished out a couple of hideous hidings and the series was lost in South Africa but let's put all that into perspective.

Both teams are ranked above us which in itself doesn't make it OK to lose because you are always aiming to improve but teams are ranked higher because they are better.

New Zealand were competitive in South Africa and various players stood out.

Kyle Mills was outstanding and Jamie How emerged. Both of them submerged again in Australia but right now Australia are playing cricket in a league of their own.

The losses in Australia were bad and we would all like to see a better showing against the best.

That showing will only come about if the players are prepared to take a good look at themselves with enough realistic self-assessment to sting them into action.

I'm not saying they need to try harder or show more ticker or any of those other emotionally based, uneducated cliches; but what I am saying is that they need to be stung into a course of action that will enable them to raise their games to a level whereby they can play their best cricket more consistently.

That course of action could be different for each player.

Australia were, man-for-man, better and played that way.

They did not allow our players to play to their fullest, which is exactly what a better player should do to his inferior opponent - and that is exactly what our players must do to their Bangladesh counterparts.

If Mills bowls a good-length ball in this series, it is unlikely to be swung over mid-wicket for six - well, not in the first few overs anyway - and if it does, it won't go on for long because there is only one Adam Gilchrist.

How will not be forced to try and score in areas he's unfamiliar with because there will be no Nathan Bracken bowling impeccable line and length and everyone will breathe a sigh of relief that they won't have to try and keep out and score off two blokes bowling at 150km/h.

Bangladesh are not to be underestimated because they have some capable players but just as Australia does to all comers, those capable players should not be allowed to contribute enough for an upset win.

Our players have just been tested against the best two teams in the world and been beaten. But the question is whether they are demoralised. If not, they should feel ready to bully Bangladesh into submission.

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