An astute bloke is Gary Stead, but is the Black Caps coach already beginning to buckle a little under public pressure in just his second season?
Known to many in cricketing circles as Steady, he seems to come across as somewhat erratic in his decisions to some now that New Zealand have lost their opening test match to Australia in Perth.
It's fair to say the honeymoon phase is well and truly over for him since his appointment after a head-to-head campaign with former Central Districts coach Heinrich Malan in August last year.
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It can't be easy when Craig McMillan, who only quit as his batting coach a few months ago, chucks acid into the drive shaft with cheap torque.
"You drop him [opening batsman Jeet Raval] because playing him again would be cruel. It would actually be silly. Tom Blundell is the batting cover, okay. He's covering positions one to six," McMillan reportedly said amid conjecture that heads need to roll after the five-day affair finished a day early.
Reading between the lines, some will argue Macca's assertion pushes Steady into the boundaries of buffoonery for having persisted with Raval, when England toured here, in the first place. It doesn't sound like McMillan wanted to hand over the baton to Peter Fulton.
For someone who held the portfolio for batting for almost a year under the Stead regime in his five-year stint, I would have expected something more constructive from Macca, actually.
Is McMillan implying things become a lot more translucent once you hop, skip and jump outside the crop rotation circle?
The reality is Stead is a former New Zealand international top-order batsman who was never dismissed for single figures, albeit in just five tests, shortly before the turn of the century.
The 47-year-old also knows what it's like to be dropped after facing bowlers of the ilk of Allan "White Lightning" Donald spearheading the South Africa attack with Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener and Jacque Kallis.
All of which will make for interesting times, to say the least, if Stead dumps Raval for test No 2 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground starting Boxing Day, even if the left hander scores some runs in the two-day warm-up match against a "very weak" Victorian XI preceding it.
For the record, Victoria has players of the calibre of Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson and Peter Siddle in their reservoir of proven talent, never mind unknown quantities itching for higher honours.
Aussie state sides are more capable of giving Black Caps a decent workout than Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Windies and even a Pakistan side caught up in political turmoil. Okay you can throw in England who simply wanted to fulfil their diplomatic obligations before jetting back home.
Frankly, dropping the Auckland Aces batsman is tantamount to looking for a scapegoat.
The absurd implication is doing that will somehow fix New Zealand's batting woes.
New Zealand's chequered recent past in the code lends credence to why there aren't any quick-fix remedies. It was under the direction of former Australia coach John Buchanan that NZ Cricket embarked on a long-term crusade in 2011 to become the world's best in the white-ball format. They came agonisingly close to accomplishing that this year in the ICC World Cup in England.
That the Kiwis are the world No 2 nation is as convincing a rating system as the rugby one. It is perennially warped because elite nations — Australia, England and India, to be more precise — have traditionally hosted each other to maximise profits at the expense of a red-ball format that has carried the stigma of vinyl LP records, now coming back into fashion.
Consequently finding pedigree batsmen with a test mind set isn't easy, never mind openers. How useful CD journeyman Greg Hay would have been now. It's just as tragic to see William Young recovering from shoulder surgery after putting up scores summer after summer.
"It's cool to see the [CD] guys have a bit of success and, at the same time, some young guys come through to get an opportunity at this level, which hasn't always been the case for me in the recent years with the Stags," he said last week on his way back from a six-month layoff. Protocol stands in the way but that sentiment can apply to his Black Caps ambitions, too.
Bar a smiling Ross Taylor, and to some extent BJ Watling, Kiwi batsmen have little to post on social media platforms. It was hit-and-miss white-ball stuff and raises numerous questions.
If Blundell is injected and fails, will he join the mountain of discarded openers? How about if Henry Nicholls, Watling or Colin de Grandhomme are promoted and come up shy — what of them? More importantly, how much will that mess up the middle order?
Does that also mean Kane Williamson is a lesser batsman? Of course not but some rethink is required on whether he should still assume the mantle of captaincy.
That is not to say Williamson is inept but simply to let him focus on his primary role of batting rather than worrying about whether he should start contemplating rolling his arm because Mitchell Santner isn't making inroads as a spinner.
I'd be safe in declaring the cricketing world will want to remember Williamson as the world's top three batsmen of his era rather than a sterling skipper who didn't realise his potential.
The 40C-plus temperature aside, he looked mentally fatigued in Perth. If anything, Australia did the tourists a favour in putting them out of their misery a day earlier.
I hear fans grumbling about the Perth wicket but didn't we label English scribes as "whingeing Poms" when they bemoaned tennis-ball pitches here a few days ago?
While England wisely took an "under-performing" Jofra Archer home, New Zealand have buckled speed merchant Lockie Ferguson in cotton wool on his flight to Auckland to join the silent casualty list of Doug Bracewell and Adam Milne, to name a few, although Blair Tickner returns to the Super Smash fold today.
How will New Zealand's most incisive bowler, left-armer Trent Boult, shape up from his injury if he makes the MCG test?
Time will tell but Macca makes sense in suggesting a genuine test tweaker needs to replace Santner. The former 55-test middle-order batsman should know because Shane Warne got his scalp in his maiden test and his last one.
Anything below No 7 is a bowling vacancy and Santner just isn't cutting it — a Mike Hesson hangover for someone who is in no-man's land.
No disrespect to the Kiwi toilers but the Ockers came out to bat in the white-ball mould in the second dig knowing they could play pick-up sticks to claim 20 wickets.
Cantabrian Todd Astle is the front runner for Santner but you have to ask convenor of selectors Gavin Larsen why proven test spinners Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville aren't in the equation as another Cantab, Kyle Jamieson jets off as back up.
It's ironic and criminal to suggest they haven't got enough caps under their belts and yet keep denying them crease time with myriad excuses. Just ask Jeetan Patel who is off to work with tweakers in England after his swansong with a T20 at the Basin Reserve tonight. Now his treatment here was cruel.