Seeing someone get bullied is never easy to deal with, especially if you were raised in New Zealand.
Unfortunately, when most people come across bullying in any realm of Kiwi society, they have an instant feeling of shame and embarrassment, conflicted as to whether they speak out against it or dismiss it in the fear of making a mountain out of a molehill.
New Zealand's tall poppy syndrome aside, that same feeling of shame and unease summed up my experience perfectly watching the Black Caps limp through their test series with Australia.
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The Black Caps were bullied, plain and simple. And that's not to say Australia conducted themselves poorly.
While there were a few Australian-esque sledges from some of the team's more chirpy individuals, the spirit of play between the two sides was refreshingly competitive while maintaining a level of respect not often seen these days.
However, mutual respect did nothing to cover up New Zealand's shortcomings against their transtasman cousins who did so much damage to the Black Caps' psyche, almost half the team were sick before the final game.
In the aftermath of the third convincing loss of a three-match test series at Sydney on Monday, many expressed opinions of disdain and disappointment at a wilting performance from a dysfunctional team.
I have to say, the Black Caps didn't help themselves by not selecting Tim Southee in the final test, which communicated nothing but confusion and weakness to the opposition.
But do I think the boys in black had given up hope even before they took the field in Sydney? No, but you could understand if some players weren't too keen on getting another hammering from the Aussies.
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It seems mentality is the key for any Black Caps team who wants to win across the ditch. Those who remember Hadlee's heroics in the 1980s will know this and those of us with more recent memories will think back to the jubilant scenes of victory at Hobart in 2011.
It was a good Central Districts man by the name of Doug Bracewell who took the final wicket of Nathan Lyon to ensure New Zealand's first victory against Australia in a test since 1992–93, and the first in Australia since 1985–86.
These teams needed real belief and mental strength to win in Australia. In the test prior to their win in 2011, New Zealand were blown off the Gabba by nine wickets but they still returned with the knowledge they could overcome old foes.
It's this kind of mental fortitude the Black Caps will need to find if they are to regain any respect in two tests against India in February and March.
Fortunately, the home side will have a raft of T20s and ODIs to warm up in and hopefully, the confidence will flow from New Zealand's proclivity to be more proficient in the shorter format.
However, two failed test series' against Australia and India could do real damage to how New Zealand performs in upcoming fixtures.
I know we hear so much about New Zealand's great record in tests but for me, it doesn't mean much if we can't consider ourselves serious contenders against the best teams in the world.