The New Zealand batsmen continued to have no answer for Sunil Narine throughout the Test series
With their recent 2-0 Test series loss against the West Indies, New Zealand captain Ross Taylor believes the reason the team are losing is due to the lack of runs being score by the top order batsmen.
New Zealand have now slipped to eighth on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test team rankings, while the West Indies have moved up to seventh, and Taylor can’t help but feel that if the New Zealand batting lineup had scored more runs then this situation would not be upon them.
During the two Test series, none of the New Zealand batsmen were able to record centuries, while Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell and Marlon Samuels were all able to reach the triple figure mark for the West Indies.
“It’s been around for a while, if you go through the last 15-odd years, guys have been scoring a lot of fifties but they haven’t been going on to score those hundreds and hundreds are what get you in Test matches and put you on the front foot and hopefully win them. But when you’re only getting fifties, sometimes it might be enough but more often than not it won’t be,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s observations have been right on the money as New Zealand have only recorded 84 Test centuries in the past 15 years, which is the lowest out of the eight Test playing nations of that period.
Even in the past decade, nothing has changed, as New Zealand batsmen continue to struggle reaching the triple figure landmark.
In fact, in the past decade South African batsman Jacques Kallis and Indian batting legend Rahul Dravid have made more centuries together than the entire New Zealand team combined.
Taylor believes that New Zealand’s failure to record any big scores proved to be fatal against the West Indies, and he noted that the batsmen would have to make higher scores in their upcoming tour of India if anything were to change for New Zealand.
“Obviously us batters are not performing as consistently as we would like and the bowlers were bowling well in periods but not the whole time, losing crucial wickets at crucial times in both Test matches have hurt us … We need to address our issues very quickly and we’ve got India coming up in just over a week and a half’s time, so we need to regroup quickly and play a lot better than we have here,” Taylor said.
However, Taylor highlighted that New Zealand did have some bright spots throughout the West Indies series.
“Martin Guptill was the highest run scorer in the Test series, between both teams, he didn’t get a hundred but his lowest score was 41. He struggled a bit during the T20s and one-dayers but showed what a quality player he can be and runs at the top of the order has been something we haven’t done as consistently as we would like. He was consistent. The bowlers, [Trent] Boult with the new ball was very promising and something to work on. [Neil] Wagner, I think has given us something to think about, the energy that he brings to the team,” Taylor added.
New Zealand only have a little time to prepare for their upcoming tour of India which begins on August 23 with a Test match at Hyderabad.