As New Zealand's bowlers toiled unsuccessfully at Wellington's quaint old Basin Reserve on Saturday, the man they needed most was moving his way around the back of the committee room looking for a sandwich.

That's the view of the Australian media who say the Black Caps' bowling attack is not up to it.

"Sir Richard Hadlee might not strut with the same bustling demeanour he once did when there were Aussies in sight, but there's no doubt that the wicket in Wellington that Trent Boult and company failed to fire on would have once been his bread and butter," wrote Ben Horne in the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

"The Black Caps' insipid display with the ball was proof that for all the willingness of Boult and Tim Southee, there is nothing like a match-winner and it's something they simply don't have."

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Horne wrote how Hadlee transformed New Zealand from minnows into a world force, "but as good as superstar batsman Kane Williamson might be, they now lack the strike power in their attack to go to the next level".

Coming into this match the Black Caps have been undefeated in their past 13 Tests and five series on home soil.

"Boult and Southee have been paramount in building that impressive record, but as good as they are - when it comes to the big stage - there's only one Sir Dick," wrote Horne.

"New Zealand has every right to be filthy at the umpiring howler that has virtually cost them any chance of saving the match.

"But with a match-winner like Hadlee in their stable, perhaps they could have still salvaged something anyway."

The Telegraph pointing out Boult is 2-80 - "continuing a run of turning in mediocre performances against Australia", Southee is 2-76 and "hapless spinner Mark Craig - still seemingly not up to Test cricket - lagging with figures of 1-128".

"At least then they could hide behind the flatness of the wickets, but even with a tinge of green - the Kiwis simply lack a blue-chip match-winner to take down the old foes from across the ditch like they once had in Sir Richard Hadlee."

-- news.com.au



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