I just heard Fleming from the press conference from the dismal effort last night against the poms. He said something along the lines of, "We are on track. We feel comfortable where we are, and we are happy in the knowledge we ran Australia close with room for improvement".
Sorry. Happy getting close to Australia? Of course you have room for improvement, you lost every game. I can't understand this mentality. To me the tour was a failure. They failed to make the final, failed to beat Australia, and failed to stand up when it counted against England.
They've had "room for improvement" for the last 5 years. A sign of a good team is playing to your full potential every game. Not looking good getting to 20 odd and then getting yourself out, or dropping easy catches. If catches win matches, then we had no chance of winning. It was the worst display of field I have seen from the current team. The pride themselves on their fielding. The must have dented pride after this tour.
Anyway, here is my end of tour report card in batting order.
Stephen Fleming 2/10
Looked terrible with the bat, scored a hundred in the last game but that was too slow and cost us the game. Let things happen in the field too much.
Nathan Astle 2/10
Saw the writing on the wall and retired. His time had come.
Lou Vincent 7/10
Had the spark we need at the top of the order. Always competes, some other players could have his attitude. Live wire in the field.
Peter Fulton 3/10
Got a start in every game but didn't go on. Needs to sell his wicket a little dearer. Made some awful gaffs in the field too.
Ross Taylor 5/10
Has the makings of a genuine world class player, but needs to get a little more out of himself.
Hamish Marshall 1/10
If cricket ever bought in the pinch runner or fielder law, like baseball he would play every game, but otherwise is not an International player.
Craig McMillian 2/10
Did his usual by playing one good knock on tour. He should take advice from Nathan Astle
Scott Styris 5/10
Came in too late in the tour to be effective but is a crucial part of the team
Jacob Oram 8/10
Shining light of the tour with the bat, which has reached a new level this tour. Bowling needs work, but will come. Brilliant gully fielder.
Brendon McCullum 5/10
Glove work was pass mark, dropped a couple of catches. Not suited to the swinging ball at the top of the order, but can be a devastating finisher.
Daniel Vettori 7/10
Continually gets more out of himself than his ability would indicate. The rest of the team should look to emulate his attitude and aptitude. Would make a good captain.
James Franklin 4/10
Lusty blows with the bat, shouldn't disguise his bowling is up and down at the moment. Dropped several chances in the field.
Shane Bond (100%) 6/10
This is the Shane Bond that actually hits the pitch. Looked good when he did
Shane Bond (50%) 1/10
Looked very ordinary when not at full clip. Bowled a hit-able pace and length.
Mark Gillespie 6/10
Was the find of the tour. Needs more consistency going forward, but looks the goods - particularly at the death.
Jetan Patel 6/10
Made the most of his chances in the limited games he played.
So the average mark was 4 which is a fair result of the tour in my opinion.