It has never been easy being a New Zealand cricket supporter.

A bit like supporting the Bay of Plenty Steamers or West Ham United. "Fortune's always hiding" and all that.

For every glimmer of hope the Black Caps have given us in recent seasons, like making the final of the Cricket World Cup or Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor batting the Aussies into spluttering, foul-mouthed oafs in Perth last summer, there are constant reminders of the bad old days.

The recent South Africa and India test series went from average to poor in South Africa to disgraceful in India.


The batting was simply not good enough.

So much of it revolves around Williamson and Taylor that when they have poor series, like they both had in India, the onus is left to others who have no consistency in their performances.

Opener Tom Latham is the best of the rest and clearly has the temperament to become a world class player. He's a gutsy little beaut but he is not there yet as he continues to make the same technical fault.

Every right arm bowler going around the wicket knows if he pitches it up on off stump heading to middle and leg there is a good chance Latham will stick his pad across his stumps and miss the ball.

What use is there having a highly paid specialist batting coach like Craig McMillan with the team if the same major technical flaw is continually produced by Latham innings after innings?

Either he is not able to help Latham for whatever reason or the player is paying no attention to what he is being told. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

And Latham is not the only one.

One has to question how much work the Black Caps players are doing to improve their own performances. There are plenty of keen golfers in the Black Caps who cannot wait to get out on the course.

Fair enough. Everyone needs a break but interesting that Williamson, the best player in the team by a million miles, never plays golf and likes to have extra net sessions hitting hundreds of balls.

You can guarantee his visualisation and memory association from hitting cricket balls is superior to the others as well.

On the plus side, the bowling prospects look much brighter and it was heartening to see how well local boy Trent Boult bowled in the searing Indian heat and dead wickets. He is a more capable bowler now, who can still get a world-class player like Virat Kohli out with no help from the conditions.

Mitch Santner was the player of the tour and we really do now have someone who could potentially replace Daniel Vettori. Early days I know but the signs are promising from him.

If we think we have had it bad lately, spare a thought for the Australian cricket team.

In the last 12 months they have been whitewashed and humiliated in three series by 0-3 v Sri Lanka (tests), 0-5 v South Africa (ODIs) and 0-3 India (T20s).

There is always someone worse off.