These days the New Zealand government are happy when anyone shows up there in a group, because it doubles the population for a while. But even they could do without the Barmy Army.
The English are using this as a springboard towards the Ashes, which as usual is the wrong way to go about the series. Forget about springboards England, learn to swim first.
And what better place to learn to swim than the kiddies pool that is New Zealand Test Cricket.
England has arrived with their work for the Dole player Ravi Bopara, a man that makes Shane Watson look like Keith Miller, but that’s just for the one dayers. You are now allowed 2 rubbish one day players per side under ICC guidelines.
England is trying to take the tour seriously (they left Bopara out of the test side), but it’s hard to take New Zealand seriously.
New Zealand has just beaten Bangladesh comfortably, which is like beating up a 5 year old deaf, blind, mute with a peg for a leg. Before that they were given the biggest hiding in Africa since Roebuck smacked those kids on their naughty bottoms.
Mind you England’s form is ordinary as well, they recently lost to a team with only 2 players, who had just been crushed like bugs by Australia.
England has brought out a pretty ordinary bowling line up, but they are taking on a pretty ordinary batting line up, so it could work out well.
Hoggard and Monty (barely) are the only two of real international standard. Anderson and Broad are good looking boys, so I suggest modelling or gay porn instead of this bowling caper. Harmison looks like Tarzan and plays like Jane, Sidebottom is something, but I’m not sure what, and some guy called Swann who has obviously been brought out to mix the drinks and such.
New Zealand’s strength (exaggeration) is their batting. Taylor, the dude who got hit in the head, Fleming, Oram, Fulton, Richardson and perhaps Vincent can all hold bats. It’s the making runs bit that is their trouble. Taylor will need to make 2 big hundreds, and Oram will need to make one quick hundred and a couple of fifties otherwise this is a charity tour for England. The rest will provide gutsy 50 to 70 odds.
A brief look at England’s batting looks impressive. Vaughan is sort of almost back, Cook is still growing pubes, Bell is an excellent foreplay batsmen, Collingwood is England’s best probot and KP is South African, so there is a solid enough foundation there. But not many of these guys are in career best form.
For the Kiwis there really isn’t much to be scared about in Shane Bond's absence. There is Chris Martin who is just a bowler, there is a street thug named Gillespie who will run in hard all day, but is probably more scary if you meet him in the bar afterwards, Tom Moody’s Kiwi twin Oram, who places the ball down with a softness unknown to most big men and Vettori who is benign.
New Zealand have one of the best wicket keepers in world cricket, England have about 8 of the most rubbishness ones. No it’s not a real word, but they are generally not wicket keepers, so they don’t deserve real words.
The Poms have the ability to win two tests, the Kiwis one.
But the Poms looked fragile in Sri Lanka, I mean Vaas ripped through them, and his best years have long since departed, so I’ll stick my neck out and say New Zealand and their 'street fighting we know we’re not good but we’ll stab you for a win' mentality will make this a one all draw.
That is the ending for my New Zealand commitments, now here is the one for my English commitments, the old bulldog will fight and claw against the lesser New Zealand players and 2 zip will be the outcome.
For the rest of the world I will give this prediction, most of you really couldn’t give a flying fu©k.
You probably didn’t realise New Zealand were still a test playing nation.