Nasser Hussain seems to have passed on the mantle of "Captain Grumpy" to Stephen Fleming. Fleming, obviously irritated at his team's performance, took the easy way out by slamming early morning starts for the matches that New Zealand have been involved in.
"They've got it wrong, you can't start this early with wickets like this, there's no point. We've been on the wrong side of it twice and it makes the next game a lottery too," Fleming said.Well, well, well!! Look who's talking??!! A Kiwi!! But hasn't he forgotten the time when India toured New Zealand?? What kind of conditions did India encounter over there??! Damp and seaming wickets right throughout the series... [understatement] heavily loaded in the favour of the home team pacemen [/understatement]. Agreed that those wickets were okay for Test Matches... but we got exactly the same wickets for the one-dayers. Indians struggled and made noises about the conditions. But these noises fell on deaf ears. What was Fleming doing at that time? Just because it suited the Kiwis, he did not utter a word. And of course... it was just before the World Cup and what better preparation than thrashing the Indians just before the cup.
"There's two competitions going on - one for us and Australia where it seams around and is tough to bat and India lay another one where it gets lower and slower then turns. I wonder who did that itinerary," Fleming said.
Fleming says that the games turn into lotteries with these early starts. But hey... what is one-day cricket if not a lottery?!! You win some and you lose some!
And did the Kiwis not reduce the Aussies to 65 for 4 in 15 overs in the match at Pune?? And that too bowling second... supposedly after the "juice" had gone out of the wicket!!... coz by Fleming's own admission, the seaming conditions ease out after the first 25 overs of the match! So how did NZ lose the match from there on??... The answer is... through inept cricket!! They dropped too many catches and displayed poor fielding. Maybe Fleming should look inwards and examine these reasons for his team's loss... rather than slamming the conditions!
Fleming should thank his stars that Indians played good hosts by not giving spinning, "dust-bowl" kind of wickets for the test series that recently concluded! Indians were well within their rights to do so, especially after the kind of wickets they encountered in NZ earlier this year!
So Mr. Fleming, could you keep your trap shut and get on with the game??!