Mark Richardson is a former Black Cap and current columnist for the Herald on Sunday

Mark Richardson: Black Caps loss compounded by dodgy review


Back to square one? Not really because the Black Caps have another life, albeit most likely against India - but don't forget Daniel Vettori and Kyle Mills come back into the team ... hopefully.

The Black Caps were beaten by the genuine Sri Lankan skill of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Murili but also by a glitch in the review system.

But, after another one of those really bad Black Cap losses, I'm not too interested in putting the boot in because I'm getting tired of that - and you know what this team is capable of just when you give up on them.

The Black Caps' bowling at the top was very disciplined and looked threatening. The lack of runs scored as wickets fell was heartening, but the lack of wickets in the middle had told by that stage.

Things could have been different if Jayawardene had been given out when, on 26, he offered an opportunity to Nathan McCullum who appeared to have taken the catch. I've no problems in such things being referred to the television official but it should not add further doubt to the situation.

It looked out live and it looked out upon replay except for one angle which was not conclusive. That one instance was enough to grant Jayawardene the benefit of doubt that should never have entered the equation.

It would appear the finding of "out" is being afforded the same gravity as "guilty" in an indictable case of murder. It seems one must be found "out" beyond any reasonable doubt, not upon the balance of probability, and the camera is as tricky as a highly paid defence lawyer.

It seems wrong to me and so does this: Why is Luke Woodcock at the World Cup if he is not going to play? Surely he went as cover for either Vettori or McCullum. So why then has he not replaced Vettori? It does not make sense to me.

Kane Williamson performed quite well against Canada - but it was Canada, don't forget. His performance was not one that demanded he play against the better teams in crucial games.

Is Williamson in as a specialist spin bowler? I don't think so; he bowled one over on Friday night. So it could be that it is Vettori's batting that has been replaced first and foremost.

Maybe it just says: Vettori's overs can't be replaced, so don't bother. That makes a little more sense to me. It says that, with Vettori out, the whole balance of the team must change.

If that is the case, however, it still does not make any sense to have Woodcock in the squad if a left-arm spin bowler can't replace a left-arm spin bowler. With the way Nathan McCullum is batting these days, then I'd also surmise Woodcock would not play if McCullum went down with injury too. Once again I can't help thinking, where the heck is Rob Nichol when you need him?

Then again, it doesn't make much sense for me to be worried about the bowling mix when, even had Jayawardene been given out on 26, Sri Lanka probably would have got far too many runs for us anyway.

- Herald on Sunday

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Mark Richardson is a former Black Cap and current columnist for the Herald on Sunday

Mark Hunter Richardson represented New Zealand in 38 Tests from 2000-2004 racking up an impressive 2,776 runs with an average of 44.7. The former Black Cap began his cricketing career as a left-arm spinner but soon realised that his talents lay with the bat. The transition from ball to bat was seamless and Richardson soon made his international debut against Zimbabwe at the age of 29. Known as a stalwart opener, Richardson’s intelligent style of hard-grind batting came at the perfect time for New Zealand cricket and provided much-needed stability for the Black Caps. Apart from being an excellent opening batsman, Mark Richardson was well-known among fans and team mates for his humorous off-pitch antics and friendly interactions with the famous Beige Brigade, with whom he formed a strong relationship. An excellent cricketer with a personable quality, Richardson once remarked that his retiring first-class average was only different to that of Sir Donald Bradman by a decimal point. Mark Richardson retired from all forms of the game in 2004 and continues to write an insightful, thought-provoking column for the New Zealand Herald.

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