Cricket: Ryder answers his critics with vigour on debut

By David Leggat

He's a work in progress, but for a bloke who arrived at Eden Park last night with all manner of questions hanging over him, Jesse Ryder should wake up today feeling somewhat vindicated.

Ryder made a decent fist of his New Zealand debut, taking a wicket in his only over - and he would have been tempted to offer a gentle glare in the direction of his captain Brendon McCullum when he was taken out of the attack, especially in light of what followed - he took a catch, almost grabbed a spectacular second on the deep square leg boundary and didn't look out of place at the top of New Zealand's batting order.

Indeed, compared with some of the handiwork that followed, he came out of a poor New Zealand effort with some credit, striking the ball sweetly and having 22 off 20 balls to show for it.

His catch was straightforward - or as straightforward as any maiden catch on debut with sweaty palms in the deep can be - and had he held the second, diving full stretch to his right, he would surely have had the terraces chanting his name, Hadlee style.

Given what's gone on since his selection, that would have been some answer to the cynics.

Last night was a start for the young man, nothing more, but encouraging for all that.

And the national selectors, while reflecting on an ordinary overall display, will have had a quiet smile at that last night.

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