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Player ratings: New Zealand stars flopped under pressure

The Roar The Roar 29/11/2015 Ronan O'Connell
New Zealand's captain Brendon McCullum stands with team mates Bradley-John Watling and Kane Williamson following the third Test. © REUTERS/David Gray New Zealand's captain Brendon McCullum stands with team mates Bradley-John Watling and Kane Williamson following the third Test.

Despite fielding a team laced with rookies and without the services of their best bowler, Australia earned a comprehensive series victory over the highly rated Kiwis in Adelaide yesterday.

The settled and talent-rich New Zealand team arrived in Australia with their best chance of beating their old foes in a Test series for the first time in 25 years.

Instead, the Kiwis turned in a poor effort overall, with only Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor playing to their ability this series, while stars Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling struggled badly.

By comparison, Australia had a huge spread of contributors with nine players having big impacts at different points.

For all the controversy over the Nathan Lyon DRS decision, Australia were the better side in the Adelaide Test despite not being able to call upon the injured Mitchell Starc, who was easily the best bowler of the series.

Here are my player ratings for New Zealand for this three-Test series.

Kane Williamson – 9/10 – (428 runs at an average of 86)

The 25-year-old has no discernible weakness as a batsman. Australia tried bowling straight to him, they tried bowling wide to him, they tried roughing him up with short balls, but nothing worked. Looks destined to score more than 10,000 Test runs.

Ross Taylor – 7.5/10 (405 runs at 81)

Taylor’s 290 at the WACA was an extraordinary innings, even if it was on the flattest of tracks. But he gets marked down overall because he flopped in the two Tests where the Australian bowlers got assistance from the pitch, making just 79 runs across four innings at the Gabba and Adelaide Oval.

Mitchell Santner – 7/10 – (76 runs at 38, plus two wickets at 31)

Santner is the one positive to come out of this series for the Kiwis. Not only did the 23-year-old outbowl fellow tweaker Mark Craig but he also showed great technique and temperament with the bat. Santner should be offered a long run in the Kiwi Test team.

Tom Latham – 5/10 – (187 runs at 31)

Latham is a very well organised batsman who shapes as a terrific long-term opener for New Zealand. He looked comfortable against the Australian attack but kept wasting starts, with four scores between 29 and 50 from six digs.

Trent Boult – 5/10 – (13 wickets at 38)

Boult was wonderful in this day-night Test. But it took the tailormade conditions at Adelaide Oval, where the pink ball was swinging and the track seaming, for Boult to have any impact. In the first two Tests he was woeful.

Brendon McCullum – 4/10 – (137 runs at 27)

McCullum’s awful record against Australia continued in this series. His one knock of note came when the Brisbane Test was already all but over. Made a series of tactical blunders – from bowling himself and Martin Guptill on Day 1 at Perth to using spin against the hobbled Mitchell Starc at Adelaide.

BJ Watling – 3/10 – (83 runs at 17)

After a wonderful tour of England earlier this year, the gifted keeper-batsman shaped as a decisive player in this series. His keeping was neat, as always, but he had no impact with the bat.

Doug Bracewell – 3/10 – (7 wickets at 53)

Bracewell’s bowling was nothing short of horrendous at the Gabba, on a track which offered good pace and bounce. He improved significantly over the next two Tests but, despite bowling with accuracy, he had minimal penetration.

Mark Craig – 1/10 – (8 wickets at 64)

The worst specialist spinner I have seen tour Australia, Craig sprayed the ball all over the pitch. Even when he did land it in good areas, the lack of work he gets on the ball made him easy to combat. New Zealand should invest in Santner and not waste any more time with Craig.

Tim Southee – 1/10 – (6 wickets at 61)

Southee could not have wished for better conditions in which to bowl in this Adelaide Test, with the pink ball hooping around and the pitch offering significant seam movement. But he badly let down his side with a third consecutive limp display. In his past five Tests, against Australia and England, Southee has averaged a horrible 56 with the ball.

Martin Guptill – 1/10 – (82 runs at 14)

Guptill is not a Test-standard batsman, and most certainly is not a Test-standard opener, with his hard hands, leaden footwork and propensity for fishing at balls outside off stump. A batting average of 28 after 36 Tests says it all. New Zealand have one fine opener in Latham but should look elsewhere for his partner.

Matt Henry – 1/10 – (two wickets at 79)

Like the rest of the New Zealand attack, Henry had a shocker at the Gabba. But he showed with some clever spells in the Tests against England that he has a lot to offer as a bowler. At just 23 years old he is a good prospect and should be offered generous opportunities at Test level.

Jimmy Neesham – 1/10 – (six runs at an average of three, plus one wicket at 111)

Neesham should try to swiftly forget his awful performance in the Gabba Test. He is a tremendously gifted all-rounder and can be a key player for New Zealand for the next decade.

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