Humiliated Black Caps copping it
NEW Zealand waited 32 years to get a shot at the Boxing Day Test, but served up leftover slop when finally invited to participate in one of the biggest events on the Australian cricket calendar.
Having been trounced 3-0 with Monday's 279-run capitulation at the SCG, the Kiwis are returning home crushed.
They're hopes of being invited back to play in the Boxing Day Test and the new year Test crushed alongside them, it would seem.
Being snubbed in future from the premier events on the Aussie test calendar is just one of many tales of woe that's left the Black Caps absolutely devastated just a few weeks after they were riding high with a series win over England and the ICC No.2 Test match ranking.
Here's how the world reacted to their textbook disintegration on Aussie soil.
KIWIS 'WORST IN 139 YEARS'
Ninety-four teams have toured Australia to play three Tests or more since 1881 - the Black Caps proved to be the most inept with the bat of all of them.
New Zealand's highest score of the 3-0 series defeat, 256 in the first innings in Sydney, is the lowest best knock of any of those 94 sides.
The Black Caps failed to reach the follow-on mark in each Test and only batted to the second new ball once in their six innings in Australia as their bowlers had to take the field on all 12 days of the series.
Kane Williamson's side produced scores of 166 and 171 in Perth, 148 and 240 in Melbourne and 256 and 136 in Sydney. And even their highest innings total was aided by five runs after David Warner was called for running on the pitch.
The last time New Zealand toured Australia in 2015, Ross Taylor scored 290 in one innings alone, the heights of which the 2019-20 side couldn't reach as a collective unit.
According to Cricinfo, the 19.25 average runs per wicket is the second lowest, edging out only the 1931 South African team, which averaged 18.47 each partnership across five Tests.
New Zealand's highest partnership in the series was 76 between Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson, in the first innings in Perth. Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne was involved in seven partnerships higher than that in the three Tests.
The top four run-scorers for the series were all Australians with Labuschagne (549), David Warner (297), Steve Smith (214) and Travis Head (213) leading the way.
Makeshift opener Tom Blundell (172 in four innings) was the only Black Cap to crack the top five and was the only New Zealander to score a century in the series.
In a telling stat, Australian No.9/10 Mitchell Starc scored more runs (76) in the same number of innings as Black Caps No.3 Williamson (57), No.5 Henry Nicholls (61) and opener Jeet Raval (34).
KIWI GREAT SLAMS SHAMBOLIC BLUNDER
New Zealand cricket great Jeremy Coney has fired up over the shambolic scheduling and performance of the Black Caps on their tour of Australia.
While Coney acknowledged the team's dire performances, the former batsman pointed the finger at both New Zealand and Australian cricket boards for Black Caps' lack of preparation.
In a brutally honest interview with ABC Grandstand's Matt Clinch, Coney said the administrators had let the players down.
"To be honest, it'll be the fact they weren't ready for this tour at all," he said.
"(It was just) eight days in between the end of their last one (series) and then starting at Perth, a different time zone, a day-night game.
"They didn't play a day/night game (before the first Test). They didn't use those eight days to the best of their own advantage."
Coney was quick to highlight the side's lack of warm-up games and local knowledge of grounds, believing it hindered any chance the Black Caps had of success.
But while no warm-up games were scheduled, Coney was also baffled as to why the New Zealand camp never called upon the expertise of local cricket stars to help them adjust to foreign conditions.
"No game at all. No speaking to anyone with local knowledge. Why didn't they get someone like Mark Taylor (former Australian captain)? How do you captain in Australia, Mark? How do you bat in Australia, Mark? Have him around the team for the first few days," he said.
"They are quite New Zealand centric. The WACA was sitting right there, they could have played a game there. They missed quite a few tricks in preparing the team.
"They'll go back (home to face India) with not much confidence."
WORLD REACTS TO ABYSMAL KIWIS
NEW Zealand were on the verge of becoming the world's No.1 Test team back in August.
But after three comprehensive shellackings, it's impossible to disagree with Aussie legend Ian Chappell's declaration that the rankings are "garbage".
Former Aussie Test captain Ricky Ponting said it was clear from Australia's perfect five-test summer sweep of New Zealand and Pakistan that the Baggy Green should be rated the second-best Test nation in the world behind India, despite sitting as the No.5 team on the ICC rankings.
"I think Australia, on what they've done over a long period of time, although they're officially ranked fifth they're the second-best team in the world," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"India are still the best team in the world currently, Australia are second, England are struggling.
"New Zealand can go down a spot on the back on this series because they've just been comprehensively outplayed.
"It's not like they've really even competed to be honest. Perth was very bad (loss by 296 runs), Melbourne was even worse (loss by 247 runs) and Australia bat first here and get 454.
"If you're to compare those two teams, there's no comparison between Australia and New Zealand."
The series loss in Australia has exposed a serious lack of depth in the Kiwi Test cricket production line and a serious dependence on captain Kane Williamson.
The Kiwis' lack of spinning options were also rudely exposed when put alongside the match-winning performance of Nathan Lyon and his 10-wicket haul at the SCG.
The New Zealand Herald's Niall Anderson wrote the dominance of Australia's bowlers was "pure destruction".
"The Black Caps' humiliation is, mercifully, complete," he wrote.
"Just when you thought their tour of Australia couldn't get any bleaker, it ended on the darkest note in the third and final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with the Black Caps rolled for a disastrous 136, slumping to a 279-run defeat to conclude the most dire of tours, swept 3-0 by a rampant Australian side.
"Clobbered with the ball, hapless with the bat and lacklustre in the field, it was a fitting finale to a dire series which has seen defeats of 296, 247 and now 279 runs, and barely an hour going by where the Black Caps could claim the upper hand."
KIWIS PLEAD FOR A SECOND SHOT ON BOXING DAY
New Zealand's beaten Test team don't want their hapless tour of Australia to stop them returning for the summer's marquee Tests on their next visit. The Black Caps were a massive hit with the crowds and television audiences in Melbourne and Sydney, in their first visit over the Christmas period in 32 years.
But on the field they are the first to admit their results were poor. Dogged by injuries, illness, poor preparation and ordinary performances, the closest New Zealand got to Australia was a 247-run flogging at the MCG. Regardless, Cricket Australia have already indicated they won't have to wait three decades again, and stand-in Black Caps captain Tom Latham wants to return soon.
"That'd be great," Latham said.
"In Melbourne the amount of support we had was unbelievable and that's something we should recognise.
"We don't necessarily get that support back home and if it was every four year that'd be great."
- with AAP