New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time



  • Surely deserving of tis own thread, loving our work in the only format that matters!

    Great the test championship is finally getting underway after several false starts.

    New Zealand won the Test series against Sri Lanka 1-0 Getty Images
    8:01 AM

    Sri Lanka's stunning 2-0 Test series win in South Africa might not have helped them move up in the ICC Test rankings - though they have earned four useful points - but it led to South Africa slipping to No. 3 and New Zealand, for the first time, going up to No. 2.

    New Zealand could have risen to No.2 earlier, when they hosted Sri Lanka late last year, had they won 2-0. But centuries from Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews in a valiant rearguard pushed the first Test to a draw, and though New Zealand won the second Test by 423 runs, they remained in third place.

    But Sri Lanka's subsequent 2-0 defeat of South Africa trimmed South Africa's points by five to 105, and pushed New Zealand - at 107 points - up to second place, only behind India, who are well ahead of the pack at 116 points.

    "It's pretty cool. It's something that's a little weird, us not having played Test cricket for a little bit now, but it's a testament to the cricket that we have been playing over the last 12 months, a little bit longer," Henry Nicholls, who is up at No. 5 among Test batsmen, said of the rankings jump.

    "It's been great having a lot of different guys come in and do well, and I think that's probably a by-product of the culture we've been trying to build, of enjoying each other's success and making sure everyone's really clear about their role and just trying to do the best that we can."

    South Africa don't have another Test engagement scheduled till the tour of India in October, but New Zealand have a good chance of consolidating their position when they host Bangladesh - ranked No. 9 - for three Tests starting this week.

    The inaugural ICC Test Championship, meanwhile, will kick off on July 15 this year, soon after the conclusion of the 50-over World Cup in England and Wales.



  • It has that feel of the aussie ice speed skater that won gold when everyone in front of him crashed.



  • @Crucial said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    It has that feel of the aussie ice speed skater that won gold when everyone in front of him crashed.

    Yeah a little bit. For years I thought even getting top 3 in test cricket would be a massive stretch for NZ, to get 2 is incredible.

    This doesn't feel like the best post-Paddles team but with the ascendance of Latham and Nicholls over the past year perhaps this is the most reliable batting line-up 1-7 we've had.



  • @rotated said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @Crucial said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    It has that feel of the aussie ice speed skater that won gold when everyone in front of him crashed.

    Yeah a little bit. For years I thought even getting top 3 in test cricket would be a massive stretch for NZ, to get 2 is incredible.

    This doesn't feel like the best post-Paddles team but with the ascendance of Latham and Nicholls over the past year perhaps this is the most reliable batting line-up 1-7 we've had.

    I get where you're coming from but what are the alternatives. I guess Fleming's team of the late 90's early 2000's?

    This is the side that won in England in 99
    M Horne
    MD Bell
    SP Fleming (c)
    NJ Astle
    RG Twose
    CD McMillan
    DL Vettori
    AC Parore †
    CL Cairns
    DJ Nash
    GI Allott

    The other really notable test for me from that era is Perth two years later. Changes there were Richardson, Vincent and Sinclair at the top of the order with Fleming dropping to 4 and Twose gone, Bond and Martin for Nash and Allot all changes that IMO strengthened the side.

    A composite might have Rigger, possibly Flem and then definitely Vettori and Bond and possibly Martin.

    So yes batting definitely stronger now and bowling there or there abouts. Another opener to partner Latham and a decent spinner and I would say the current side is NZ's best ever.



  • @rotated said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @Crucial said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    It has that feel of the aussie ice speed skater that won gold when everyone in front of him crashed.

    Yeah a little bit. For years I thought even getting top 3 in test cricket would be a massive stretch for NZ, to get 2 is incredible.

    This doesn't feel like the best post-Paddles team but with the ascendance of Latham and Nicholls over the past year perhaps this is the most reliable batting line-up 1-7 we've had.

    It's probably the right way for us to go about it too... feels like others have gone backwards.

    India clearly number 1, Australia struggling, England patchy over the last few years, and we're slightly less 'hot and cold' than the others.

    This is also due to a historic series win in Pakistan - that throws some serious shade on our competitors.



  • @rotated said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @Crucial said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    It has that feel of the aussie ice speed skater that won gold when everyone in front of him crashed.

    Yeah a little bit. For years I thought even getting top 3 in test cricket would be a massive stretch for NZ, to get 2 is incredible.

    This doesn't feel like the best post-Paddles team but with the ascendance of Latham and Nicholls over the past year perhaps this is the most reliable batting line-up 1-7 we've had.

    no perhaps about it, luckily the rest make up for CDGH.

    We've had better fast bowlers in the past but never a trio as good as the one we have now.

    Weak at spin and all rounder, very strong elsewhere.



  • @MN5 said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @rotated said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @Crucial said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    It has that feel of the aussie ice speed skater that won gold when everyone in front of him crashed.

    Yeah a little bit. For years I thought even getting top 3 in test cricket would be a massive stretch for NZ, to get 2 is incredible.

    This doesn't feel like the best post-Paddles team but with the ascendance of Latham and Nicholls over the past year perhaps this is the most reliable batting line-up 1-7 we've had.

    no perhaps about it, luckily the rest make up for CDGH.

    We've had better fast bowlers in the past but never a trio as good as the one we have now.

    Weak at spin and all rounder, very strong elsewhere.

    Very strong batting - arguably the best we've ever had.

    Currently:
    Kane - 2
    Nicholls - 5
    Latham - 12
    Taylor - 19



  • @nzzp said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @MN5 said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @rotated said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @Crucial said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    It has that feel of the aussie ice speed skater that won gold when everyone in front of him crashed.

    Yeah a little bit. For years I thought even getting top 3 in test cricket would be a massive stretch for NZ, to get 2 is incredible.

    This doesn't feel like the best post-Paddles team but with the ascendance of Latham and Nicholls over the past year perhaps this is the most reliable batting line-up 1-7 we've had.

    no perhaps about it, luckily the rest make up for CDGH.

    We've had better fast bowlers in the past but never a trio as good as the one we have now.

    Weak at spin and all rounder, very strong elsewhere.

    Very strong batting - arguably the best we've ever had.

    Currently:
    Kane - 2
    Nicholls - 5
    Latham - 12
    Taylor - 19

    shocked Taylor is that low to be honest but his all time record speaks for itself.

    Nicholls continues to amaze in a good way...



  • Pretty much highlights how more stable we are compared to other sides.
    Australia in disarray the past 12 months and having do without their only 2 world class fluffybunnies I mean batsmen.
    England’s top order is a shambles other then Joe Root
    South Africa has an aging team and seems to mostly rely on past glories.
    Pakistan up and down
    Sri Lanka this surprise series win aside have been on a downward slide for a couple years( which you would expect when you loose your greatest players close together)

    We have a settled top 7 batting line up with 2 of the best batsmen in our history along with one of our best openers and batting keeper. And now a #5 who is getting better and better.
    Throw in a decent bowling attack and it’s pretty much perfect storm for us to be where we are.
    Even if the other teams were better off we would definitely would be top 4 or 5 in the world.



  • @Virgil said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    Pretty much highlights how more stable we are compared to other sides.
    Australia in disarray the past 12 months and having do without their only 2 world class fluffybunnies I mean batsmen.
    England’s top order is a shambles other then Joe Root
    South Africa has an aging team and seems to mostly rely on past glories.
    Pakistan up and down
    Sri Lanka this surprise series win aside have been on a downward slide for a couple years( which you would expect when you loose your greatest players close together)

    We have a settled top 7 batting line up with 2 of the best batsmen in our history along with one of our best openers and batting keeper. And now a #5 who is getting better and better.
    Throw in a decent bowling attack and it’s pretty much perfect storm for us to be where we are.
    Even if the other teams were better off we would definitely would be top 4 or 5 in the world.

    Further to this. rose tinted glasses aside what did we have in the 80s ? our GOAT and second best ever batsman, Andrew Jones was a fine player too.....but aside from them none of the rest were much more than a gutsy bunch of honest triers.



  • @MN5 said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    Further to this. rose tinted glasses aside what did we have in the 80s ? our GOAT and second best ever batsman, Andrew Jones was a fine player too.....but aside from them none of the rest were much more than a gutsy bunch of honest triers.

    Wright and Edgar were a competent opening partnership with Wright being worthy of a mention in the class of Jones. Smith was the class gloveman of his time and an above average attacking batsman before the position transformed.

    It's kind of like saying what other quicks did we have beside Paddles? Chats wasn't a match winner (the Windies probably had 10 quicks better than him at a point in the 80's) on his own but was a perfectly adequate foil to Paddles.



  • @dogmeat said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    I get where you're coming from but what are the alternatives. I guess Fleming's team of the late 90's early 2000's?

    There were teams in the '01-04 window that went toe to toe with some very good Australian, English and South African teams. Mixed results but they rarely got pantsed.

    Perhaps it is because they haven't had a true acid tests. The last two years the only series played were SA (h), Windies (h), England (h), Pakistan (n), Pakistan (h) and Sri Lanka (h). So no true away series (not that beating Pakistan in UAE is easy, no Australia. The signature win is the pink ball test IMO, but they need something more to put them over the top IMO.



  • @rotated said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @MN5 said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    Further to this. rose tinted glasses aside what did we have in the 80s ? our GOAT and second best ever batsman, Andrew Jones was a fine player too.....but aside from them none of the rest were much more than a gutsy bunch of honest triers.

    Wright and Edgar were a competent opening partnership with Wright being worthy of a mention in the class of Jones. Smith was the class gloveman of his time and an above average attacking batsman before the position transformed.

    It's kind of like saying what other quicks did we have beside Paddles? Chats wasn't a match winner (the Windies probably had 10 quicks better than him at a point in the 80's) on his own but was a perfectly adequate foil to Paddles.

    Obviously Hadlee was head and shoulders our best player of the 80s teams, the only guy that was truly world class. I think part of the folklore behind the teams of that era comes from the underarm 81 legacy



  • @MN5 said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @Virgil said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    Pretty much highlights how more stable we are compared to other sides.
    Australia in disarray the past 12 months and having do without their only 2 world class fluffybunnies I mean batsmen.
    England’s top order is a shambles other then Joe Root
    South Africa has an aging team and seems to mostly rely on past glories.
    Pakistan up and down
    Sri Lanka this surprise series win aside have been on a downward slide for a couple years( which you would expect when you loose your greatest players close together)

    We have a settled top 7 batting line up with 2 of the best batsmen in our history along with one of our best openers and batting keeper. And now a #5 who is getting better and better.
    Throw in a decent bowling attack and it’s pretty much perfect storm for us to be where we are.
    Even if the other teams were better off we would definitely would be top 4 or 5 in the world.

    Further to this. rose tinted glasses aside what did we have in the 80s ? our GOAT and second best ever batsman, Andrew Jones was a fine player too.....but aside from them none of the rest were much more than a gutsy bunch of honest triers.

    I'd say the best team in the '80s pre-dates Andrew Jones...probably pretty close to this one.



  • @canefan said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @rotated said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @MN5 said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    Further to this. rose tinted glasses aside what did we have in the 80s ? our GOAT and second best ever batsman, Andrew Jones was a fine player too.....but aside from them none of the rest were much more than a gutsy bunch of honest triers.

    Wright and Edgar were a competent opening partnership with Wright being worthy of a mention in the class of Jones. Smith was the class gloveman of his time and an above average attacking batsman before the position transformed.

    It's kind of like saying what other quicks did we have beside Paddles? Chats wasn't a match winner (the Windies probably had 10 quicks better than him at a point in the 80's) on his own but was a perfectly adequate foil to Paddles.

    Obviously Hadlee was head and shoulders our best player of the 80s teams, the only guy that was truly world class. I think part of the folklore behind the teams of that era comes from the underarm 81 legacy

    A certain MD Crowe wasn’t bad either...



  • @Virgil said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @canefan said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @rotated said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    @MN5 said in New Zealand rise to No. 2 in Test rankings for the first time:

    Further to this. rose tinted glasses aside what did we have in the 80s ? our GOAT and second best ever batsman, Andrew Jones was a fine player too.....but aside from them none of the rest were much more than a gutsy bunch of honest triers.

    Wright and Edgar were a competent opening partnership with Wright being worthy of a mention in the class of Jones. Smith was the class gloveman of his time and an above average attacking batsman before the position transformed.

    It's kind of like saying what other quicks did we have beside Paddles? Chats wasn't a match winner (the Windies probably had 10 quicks better than him at a point in the 80's) on his own but was a perfectly adequate foil to Paddles.

    Obviously Hadlee was head and shoulders our best player of the 80s teams, the only guy that was truly world class. I think part of the folklore behind the teams of that era comes from the underarm 81 legacy

    A certain MD Crowe wasn’t bad either...

    Ah shit not this again....

    Virg in your opinion has KW eclipsed Crowe yet?



  • @Chris-B Spot on - and that team went on to win in England the next year.

    Which brings us to the biggest differentiator between the golden age of the 80's and today (and Fleming's team)

    As @rotated mentioned re the turn of the century team the current bunch just haven't had the high profile successes

    The team of the mid 80's set all kinds of first - first away win against England and Australia. First series wins against both. Only team to beat the Windies in a series for a decade. Didn't lose a series at home in the 80's. Plus Hadlee setting all sorts of records. Given the abject record we had prior to that it was a remarkable epoch and so always seems just a little bit grander, the performances a little bit better the failures just a little more palatable. Journeymen become collossus' captains masters of strategy and trundlers demon quicks 🙂



  • @dogmeat We went for ages undefeated in series at home.

    Of that specific team - I think that was the end of Big Lance - so maybe a later iteration, which presumably had Snedden in was stronger.

    A bit earlier, Geoff Howarth and the second coming of Turner were both very good batsmen - well, until Geoff's eyesight went. In the early 80s, he briefly averaged over 40.



  • @Chris-B I'm less enamoured of the undefeated at home record. As the decade drew to a close koff koff doctored pitches became a thing in order to ensure we didn't lose the record (allegedly)



  • @dogmeat Yeah - I recall an element of that - but, nonetheless we were good enough not to lose on those doctored pitches - unlike the Young Guns of the 1990s.


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