Did we learn anything new about our national cricket team this summer? Well, not really.
We've known for some time that they are pretty good at T20s, okay but not tops in ODIs and way better than the minnows in tests but not as good as the other major test-playing nations. Nothing much has changed in the last three months.
That said, though, there were some encouraging signs of life in the area of desperately needed improvement - test cricket.
The bowling proved it can compete in batsman-friendly conditions and at least give New Zealand a chance against good opposition. The unit is still a work in progress but there is some competition growing in the fast-medium stocks. An out-and-out quick would be nice but, let's face it, your Hadlees and Bonds only come around once every 10 years or so.
Daniel Vettori came under closer scrutiny in this series and it was not a good one for him. He bowled well enough and did a job but lacked penetration. Did this summer finally eat away at the glue that has held our bowling unit together for so long?
We shall have to wait till after the series in the Caribbean where Vettori will get some assistance against a team that has a history of playing spin poorly. If he has a bad series over there, then this season may have shown us a great star of New Zealand cricket is beginning to fade.
In many ways this series showed that the status quo with the batting still exists - issues at the top, dumb dismissals and a tail that falls away. But, I did see signs that things were heading in the right direction.
Of massive future consequence in this series was the performance of Martin Guptill. He needed to prove he was the man to open in test cricket against good opposition. In the final test, he showed he was.
We don't want to be searching for two openers and I'm pleased to say we aren't. Sure, he has issues with his footwork and bat angles but he did enough to keep his place and rectify these issues while still in the team. Kane Williamson was another that went into this series desperate for runs - and he got them. He has a defensive issue around pushing at wide balls but that will tighten up quickly, I reckon. For the most part I liked what I saw in Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor. I saw two guys who really wanted to lift for the formidable challenge of South Africa. Their attitudes during this series heartened me and I feel test success matters to them - but enough with the contrite admissions of guilt after a brain explosion dismissal - just stop doing them!
Sure, they were beaten up in this series but they were up against a great team. I saw a New Zealand side trying to do the right things and play the right way.
The acid test comes in the next series against the West Indies where, if they play as they have in this series, I expect them to win in the Caribbean.By Mark Richardson Email Mark