Wellington: New Zealand media lashed the nation’s “embarrassingly bad” cricket team on Monday after Pakistan routed the Black Caps within three days in the first Test at Hamilton.
“New year - same old horror story,” the back page of the New Zealand Herald declared, adding that Sunday’s thumping 10-wicket defeat was a depressing start to a much-trumpeted new era under coach John Wright.
Wellington’s Dominion Post also highlighted the scale of the challenge facing the former India coach and Black Caps captain Wright, who was appointed last month following one-day series losses in Bangladesh and India.
“It’s a Wright shambles,” the newspaper thundered, saying there was no excuse for New Zealand’s capitulation at home against a depleted Pakistan team of “dubious quality”.
Criticism focused on New Zealand’s second innings batting, when the Black Caps crumbled to be all out for 110, losing four wickets for one run at one stage, to hand Pakistan a crushing victory.
“There’s almost no need to belittle them, because the second innings batting figures do that all on their own,” the Dominion Post said.
The Herald’s chief sports writer David Leggat said the batmen lacked judgement and threw away their wickets.
“Some of the strokes were daft, others plain dumb.... New Zealand offered nothing. They simply rolled over,” he wrote, describing the display as “embarrassingly bad”.
Veteran cricket commentator Bryan Waddle questioned whether New Zealand could recover to salvage something from the two-Test series, which resumes in Wellington on Saturday.
“I’ve seen some depressing results in the past but mostly overseas not at home,” he told Radio Sport. “There’s not much time to restore the sense of pride and commitment (needed) to accept the challenge that this Pakistan side poses.”
National news agency NZPA said Wright could take comfort in a creditable display by New Zealand’s bowlers on a flat pitch but conceded it was difficult to find positives in such an overwhelming defeat.
“In a quiet moment, (he) must have wondered what he had let himself in for,” it said.