With the one-day series between Australia and New Zealand over, the Black Caps taking the victory on home soil 2-1, it’s time to look back over the series and reflect on who impressed and who flopped.
Three uniquely interesting and vastly different games took place over the three match series, which will make grading the teams quite interesting.
Let’s start with the winning team, the Black Caps, and see who performed best in Brendon McCullum’s final one-day series.
Martin Guptill: A+
Very ordinary would be a kind description of Martin Guptill’s batting performances recently, but this series, ‘Guppy’ proved that he is still an ODI genius, leading the series in runs, high score and average.
If this is enough to save his test spot, let’s hope he grabs the show of faith with both hands and expels the doubters in the longer form of the game.
Mitchell Santner: A+
Mitchell Santner proved the effectiveness of a good all-rounder at a time in which there appears to be few good ones left in the world.
With an average of 40 with the bat and the only bowler to average single digits (9.4), Santner is finally beginning to unearth the talent that helped him find his way into the Test and ODI squad at age 24.
Brendon McCullum: B+
The New Zealand skipper would have preferred a more personally triumphant send-off from one-day cricket, but he still did his bit out in the middle, averaging 39.66 with the bat through the three matches.
However, he did make some good captaincy calls that vitally changed the landscape of all three matches, and for this, we’ll bump up his grade to a B+. Well done Brendon McCullum on a great career.
Matt Henry: B+
Matt Henry was the pick of the Kiwi bowlers this series, leading both teams in wickets taken (eight) including best bowing figures of 3-41 in game one.
The Black Caps will love seeing one of their young quicks in such prime form, and will hope he adds to his already long list of impressive Test performances in the series against Australia.
Grant Elliot: B+
Grant Elliot did his job as a lower-order batsman, averaging 34 for the series and hitting an important 50 in game three.
Considering Elliot is reaching the age where the Kiwis may start to consider other options, he is doing a good job to prove his worth as a fixture down the order for the Black Caps.
Henry Nicholls: B+
Henry Nicholls is a talented young batsman that should be in New Zealand lineups for years to come, and in this series he showed us a glimpse of that talent, with a classy 61 in game one.
Nicholls’ domestic averages are outstanding, and if he can manage to find his way into the Test squad, he could be a real asset in the post-McCullum and Taylor era.
Trent Boult: B+
Trent Boult unfortunately only managed two of the three matches due to injury, but in those two matches he was impressive, taking four wickets with an economy of 6.3.
Hopefully he can get his body right for the test series starting soon – he is one of the Kiwis’ best bowlers.
Doug Bracewell: B+
After a super-impressive 1-15 and an economy of 2.5 in game three, the Black Caps will be wondering how big the winning margin would have been if Doug Bracewell had played the first two outings.
While he has been generally good in his 13 ODIs, he is still battling for his spot across all three forms, and his impressive cameo in this series will be will served when the selectors pick the test squad.
Ish Sodhi: B+
Speaking of being rushed into the test squad, Ish Sodhi gave selectors every reason to believe he is keen to add to his 11 appearances in the longest form of the game for New Zealand.
Another bowler afforded his only appearance in game three, Sodhi chimed in with a 2/31 at an economy of 3.87 and an average of 15.5.
Corey Anderson: C+
Considering the weapon that is Corey Anderson, one would’ve expected a more ferocious series out of him with the bat, managing scores of just 10, 16, and 27.
However, he was decent with the ball. Innings of 1/14, 0/17 and 2/16 ranks him as the second most economic bowler of the series, and easily the most economical to play all three matches.
Luke Ronchi: C-
Luke Ronchi’s batting was hardly impressive this series, managing just 40 runs, an average of 13 and a high score of 19.
However, his wicketkeeping was impressive, taking a few notable catches and playing what is his main role well enough.
Kane Williamson: C-
For the first time in a long time, Kane Williamson had a relatively disappointing series, averaging only 26 with the bat.
He scored decently in game two with 60, but games one and three scores of naught and 18 marred a series in which everyone expected him to step up on his home wickets.
Adam Milne: F
Unfortunately for young Adam Milne, this series did not go as he would have hoped, only managing two wickets – one in game one and one in game three.
Considering the bowling talent in the country right now, these kinds of series cannot be ignored. Hopefully for Milne his 33rd one-day international will not be his last.