Sportsfreak takes a look through the series.
So the Indians will be boarding their jumbo about now, and for the final piece of excitement will be undergoing a take-off into a Wellington gale. Their fans will be cleaning their whiteboards in preparation for more normal use, and the rest of us look back on our brief time in the same playground as the big boys.
Obviously, there was going to be a lot of hype surrounding this tour; after all the test batting line-up boasted something like 107 test centuries before the series started, and constantly added to that over the last 3 weeks.
And we got to see first hand the likes of Tendulkar and Dravid for the last time, and Dhoni and Ishant for the first time, and were able to notice the difference in attitude and swagger between the two.
So we look at some of the theories that were floated before and during the series and see if they are fact or some hybrid of Indian Myth and Lord of the Rings special effects.
Tests in NZ in April do not work
People will point to the fact that the April test ended with rain, but that only kicked in with 3 hours left in the match; that’s not bad for New Zealand. April, comparatively, is reasonably reliable.
And the tests were certainly less affected than the ODIs in February/ March.
Light was clearly an issue after the daylight saving change, but that was more of a management issue.
Dhoni is an attacking captain
Well some of his bowling changes are inspirational, and no more so than bringing Tendulkar on during the last day at the Basin.
But that declaration in the same test can always be held up as the perfect example that he can be as cautious as a shell-shocked Ponting.
He lets Harbhajan talk him into defensive field placings too.
Ryder is too fat for test cricket
Ha ha. Myth. A big fat myth too Adam.
He does have a weakness against top quality spin early on, but he’ll sort that out soon.
Yuvraj is rubbish outside of the Sub-continent
He was miserable here, apart from a couple of meagre cameos with the pressure off.
And remember this was on placid pitches against an ordinary attack.
Ishant Sharma is the Real Deal and the Final Product
Not yet he’s not. Despite what last year promised.
He had one good spell in Hamilton, and then roughed up Vettori at the Basin.
But in between times he looked more sulky than anything else. He perfected the act of hiding in the outfield in Napier when things got tricky, and he certainly didn’t seem to take to the Wellington wind.
Totally outplayed by the underrated Zaheer all series.
McCullum isn’t the batsman he was a year ago
That was probably his most consistent series as a test batsman. A shocking dismissal in the first innings in Hamilton was followed by composed knocks afterwards. His maturity in batting with O’Brien in the second innings of that match was class, and he held his head well in Napier.
At the Basin he got stuck with O’Brien again, and was sawn off in the second innings. Will probably be tried at #6 in the near future, which is about the only spot in the order where he has not been used yet.
Superb keeping too.
Taylor needs time to adjust from ODIs to tests.
Fact. Fact. Fact. Contrast the push across the line on the first morning in Hamilton with the 2nd innings resistance at the Basin.
Imagine what he could do in a 5 test series.
Harbhajan is a wind-up artist
True. And a very good one at that.
He didn’t get under the skin of the New Zealanders like he did with the Australians last year, but he sure wound the commentators up.
Note how he does well in the questionable umpiring decision stakes too. Not a coincidence.
Sehwag plays all forms of the game in exactly the same way
Myth. He bats for longer in T20s and ODIs.
Vettori is not the test bowler he used to be
Fact. And a pretty old fact at that.
If you want proof, get a video of him bowling on the 4th morning in the Basin, and then watch Tendulkar bowl 24 hours later.
It’s toe-curling stuff, and it’s even worse to hear certain radio commentators air the myth that he is a world-class spinner.
The World will miss Tendulkar
Sad but true.