Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Fantastico Duo of New Zealander’s who I grew up Adoring

The Fantastico Duo of New Zealander’s who I grew up adoring

New Zealand were a team who always played tough with the limited talent and quality that they had. Right through my growing years they produced several cricketers who were very competitive and at the same time very affable too. In this post I will talk about one of the best captains to have ever graced the cricket field and one of the best ODI openers that New Zealand have ever produced. The impact of these two cricketers on how New Zealand progressed through the 90’s is very significant.

Stephen Fleming

Stephen Fleming started his career in the mid 1990’s and was soon made the captain of the national side at a very young age of just 23 years. He would go on to become one of the most tactically intelligent and astute captain of all time and definitely as the most successful captain for the Black Caps.

He was a naturally gifted batsman who played with a lovely straight bat and his on drives were like music that strung to your heart whenever he unfurled them. Like most left handers he was also a majestic player of the cover drive and could flick the ball effortlessly through mid-wicket when the bowlers erred by bowling on to his pads.

He played over 100 test matches for the Kiwis and made over 7000 runs with a highest score of 274* (an innings where he declared selflessly instead of batting longer to score a triple ton). In ODI’s his best knock came on my birthday in South Africa during the 2003 World Cup when his unbeaten 134 helped New Zealand to score an emphatic victory while chasing a revised target of 229 in 39 overs. In all he played 280 ODI’s and amassed over 8000 runs at an average of almost 33.

He became the coach of Chennai Super Kings after he retired where he put to use all his tactical nous and intelligence forming a strong ally with the captain of the Indian Cricket team MS Dhoni. He has also tasted success in the BBL in Australian where he coached the Melbourne team. He will now coach the Pune team in the IPL.

Nathan Astle

Nathan Astle was an opener who played with the free spirit and with an attacking intent. He holds the record for the fastest double century (off 158 balls) which he scored against the English in 2002 when he slammed 222 in a match that the Kiwis went on to lose.

His real value came in the ODI set up where he forced the issue at the top of the order and was also a very handy medium paced bowler. He was also a very good slip fielder which made him a complete package for ODI’s. He scored 16 ODI centuries for the Black Caps which places him at the very top in the list for them.

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