Monday, 9 March 2009

The Update. Wellington and Christchurch ODI's.

Wow, last night was fun, if you were in the crowd that is; that’s value for money for the paying public!

Unfortunately I was dropped for this match or fortunate for me if I was to believe some txt from friends; fortunate not to be a part of the exhibition of batting and the onslaught the Indians brought to the ground yesterday. I don’t feel fortunate at all. I was gutted to be dropped, it hurt a lot. I understood but it still doesn’t sit well when you’re sitting on the side line wishing to have an effect on the match. The match would have been different if I had of played, no matter how you look at it. It might have been my day and things gone my way, maybe doing something special, or not, I could have had a really bad day and we got beaten by more. But either way I’d have preferred to have had the opportunity to have been a part of that match.

I hadn’t bowled as well as I had hoped, or as well as I can, in the previous two One Dayers (Napier and Wellington) and that was the reason I was passed over. I had missed too often to Sehwag and he had hurt me (42 runs from the 21 balls I had bowled to him in the two ODI’s). After the Wellington match I had a pretty bad night (and half of the next day), the night (and day) when the demons come out and play with my head; like they sometimes do after efforts that haven’t been good enough. Add to that a couple of personal things going on and my head space didn’t make for a great place to be. But this is the test, how I deal with this stuff and I you bounce back.

Wellington’s ODI I was looking forward to. Just the second time I would get to play at the Stadium in front of a noisy home crowd for NZ. I was buzzing. I had bowled as well as I had ever done the day before in the nets, hit my lines and lengths virtually perfect to the plans we’ve set out; and this is one of the reason why I was so disappointed after the match.

I had the opportunity to watch some highlights (mostly lowlights for me) on the TV when we got to the hotel in Christchurch after the match as well as spending time ‘inside my head’; I noticed something that originally I had been very happy with. I’m not going to mention it yet but I feel that my consistency, accuracy and my ability to stick to a plan, my strength up until now, had been affected by one thing. And it’s something I have been doing in training but not taking with me into a match. It’s possibly the one thing that has held me back more often in my career than anything else. I went to our Bowling Coach for a chat straight away. It was from here I was able to escape the dark times and demons in my head. A positive chat and quick look over some analysis information from the T20’s and ODI’s previous and I felt normal again and ready for the next day’s match. I wasn’t to play though.

My bowling at Wellington wasn’t great, although if you take out the stats to Sehwag, I wasn’t too bad. He’s just hitting the ball so well at the moment, playing with no fear and it’s coming off. In my first over he slashed at two deliveries that flew either side of Jake, at point; had one of them gone to hand, things might have been different. Unfortunately I bowled too many balls in areas that we have basically declared ‘no go zones’. After a couple of rain breaks, which were forecast, I bowled one more over, in the batting power play. This wasn’t my best work but I did pick up a wicket, a small chance to celebrate, although the ball I got the wicket with wasn’t one of the better balls I had bowled; I’ll take it though and on days like that, you got to!

So, yesterdays match. As I said, wow! For the first time in a long time we were without Dan; he had a wife, and now baby, he HAD to be with. Congrats mate! That meant that Baz would be captain. And as any captain worth his salt does, he won the toss.

Sachin was special yesterday and it was only an injury that halted him in a charge for 200, individually. That’s a pretty scary thing to think about; one player scoring that many runs in an ODI. Again though, the thing we take from it is that we didn’t bowl very well to him or the others. It was not a 390 pitch or ground; it was more like a 320 pitch and ground. The boundaries are very short in places and are very difficult to defend on a good day, let alone yesterday. It was good, though, to see the sun shine and the DL sheets stay in pockets.

After so many fireworks it just got better for the crowd. Jesse and Baz opened up the innings, and really opened up. Jesse’s hundred, on any other day, would have been a match winning knock. This was his first ODI ton and against a very good bowling attack, in a chase that was going to need some special things to happen, he really showed how much he’s learning about his game and sticking to his strengths. Baz’s knock was another display of how much he has moved on as an opener; boundaries and then singles to get the ‘on fire’ Jesse back on strike. Unfortunately we just couldn’t keep the run rate up without losing wickets; that was going to be the problem in a monster run chase.

With Millsy and Timmy at the crease the chase was virtually gone, although with nothing to lose, they swung and swung hard. Millsy hit his first ODI 50 in brilliant display of hitting and with Timmy they put on 83 in about 7 overs. At one stage there was a thought going through the ‘shed’ that this was possible if things kept working in our favour. I was sent out with a message to tell them to ‘just keep swinging’ basically take any thought of being fancy and actually ‘trying’ to win it as opposed to ‘if it happens, it happens, keep playing with no fear.’ That was all good until Munif Patel got taken off for two delivers above waist high and was replaced with Pathan; the change of pace meant the boys had to play slightly differently, and with that change, Millsy was dismissed. Tim was then dismissed the next over and game over; a chase to big but one that was entertaining and where four of the lads hit new high scores.

Now, in Hamilton, a curry for tea, a good nights sleep and off to the nets tomorrow to keep working on being better....


Anonymous said...

Hi lain

Thanks for this blog. I really like your honesty and the way you write.

Keep it up.
Being a black cap fan, I would always like New Zealand to do well.

In my opinion we weren't that bad while bowling.
What we need is some fox like cunning moves to defeat this awsome talented team.

India's aggression is just a copy of OZ's aggression and it's all mind game.

We didn;t bowl in right areas, looks like excuse to me. I can't believe that all our 6 or 7 bowlers were that bad.

The best way to defend is to attack. Come out of your shell. Clear your mind and forget what they are and How good they are.
Don;t let this thing cross your mimd. The moment is does,that's it, you lost the plot.

Show them that we are not push overs, show them our aggression, with positive plan, with positive body language and look in thier eyes.

Don't curse your self when you get hit for a bounday, look in thier eyes and ask a question, - challenge them - let's see how you do it next time?

Never bowl with revenge in mind. Revenge kills thinking cells of the brain.

Do what you want to do and do with a style and with a aim to be best in the business.

cheers and best of luck.

Naly D said...

Arg, I had a huge reply typed but did something to make it go. But I'll try get the main points again.

Chin up Iain. I imagine it'd be hard for any competitive sportsman to be dropped - but there's some good things which have come out of it too.

You say you may have been the hero in the ChCh match, but you could just as easily been the villain. The boys were giving their all to try and do something to stem the bleeding, to no success. It could have been you in Tim's position - in which case I'd bet you'd feel worse than you do now.

But, you were able to undertake some positive reflection and improve your game. I'd much rather you're in that position and sitting on the couch that back playing for my beloved Wellington and doubting your abilities.

And now you can give 'em all hell when you play next ;)

Leg Break said...


Just to be pedantic...

5 NZ players got their highest score in the Chch match

profernity said...

Hi Iain,

All this 'demons' talk sounds rather dramatic, I hope it's mostly cricket-related and not something more widespread.

Besides, you did have an impact in the 3rd ODI - it was a ball you bowled into Tendulkar in Wellington that led to his retirement before he could reach 200. Ye gods, you certainly are Iain O'Brilliant - still taking wickets (sort of) even when you're not playing.

Anyway, I hope whatever personal discoveries you have made in the last few days puts you in good stead for the future.


Swatpulla said...

Hi lain.... I think you guys have a good chance in the next match if Munaf plays again !! Ishant's return will be a huge factor too...

Swatpulla said...

You are yet to see a fast and fiery ishant.... So if he bowls well, dont try to see him off. Counter attack him wid all your power.... Once he gets into the rhythm, he is not too far from the best fast bowler in the world. So u betta just not let him get into any sort of rhythm ! Maybe promoting urself up the order to smash him around might

Anonymous said...

Good luck! And congrats to Vettori!

Sakya said...

Good luck for the next game. If NZ wins this one, it would set up for a awesome 5th game.

aniket said...

"off to the nets tomorrow to keep working on being better...."

That's the spirit, mate. All the best!

sakamoori said...

all the best for tommorrow's game..

Anne-Marie said...

Hi Iain, I hope you are chosen to play in today's match, and that you get the chance to put your demons to rest. I hear the match is a sell-out - so you know the Black Caps have plenty of fans. I wish I could be in Hamilton to cheer you all on ... but me and many of my workmates will be following via the internet.

I wish you and the team the best of luck for today's match.

Kia kaha!

David said...

Iain... you talk about plans a lot which I understand are a big part of you and your team sessions. The problem is that you're a little too caught up in your line and length and not realising that these Indian guys are hitting you off that line because they're simply better than the batsman you've been able to contain with those plans.

How about more Flintoff/Cairns/Hadlee/Nash style inspiration, lift your pace, intimidate the batsmen and make them think twice about taking liberties against your bowling.

Two well directed bouncers generally have a lasting impact throughout the entire series. Less time concerntrating on placing the ball, more time concerntrating on bowling the heavy ball.

David said...

ps.. how much of a kick in the teeth is it for the current black caps to see Dion Nash (your selector) is still a faster bowler than any of you and is managing to get good outswing shape on the ball in any of the charity matches he's played recently?

If a guy who stopped playing top level cricket years ago is still capable of breaching 140kmh, why can't our bowlers?

Leg Break said...

Are you sure of your facts re Nash there Dave?

Because he never reached 140 when playing for NZ...

Anonymous said...

If Dion Nash ever hit 140km per hour when he was playing for NZ i have a porn stars dick

sakamoori said...

getting some thrashing form sehwag march..ohh so sad...
0vers M R W Ec
2.6 0 37 0 12.33
Hope you get some good spells

Anonymous said...

Hey Iain! Where do you get your tips frosted? looking great on the telly!

Your biggest fan!
Ashton Goatley

Tito George said...

today also no different it seems. Sehwag is in killing spree...

karthik said...

Hi Dude,

History repeats!
3 Overs, 37 runs, 0 wickets!

When Sehwag is on fire, he just doesn't care! He is a mad man!

Hope New Zealand does some quick fix to regain the momentum at least for the final one dayer..!!!


Joe Antony said...

Hey Iain,

The mistake you and you pals did was to underestimate the indian side, esp sehwag, he is a barbarian who has got a great company of his fried Gambhir makes him a dangerous canon.

Jus forget the past, test matches will be different ball game, and india has a different squal itself, I do beleive you guys will give a tougher run in test... but ODI verymuch looks like a whitewash...

Swat said...

Hey....shut up all ! Dont stir his temper.... I m sure you dont want him to throw a 160kph bounces at Sehwag !!

Swat said...

Ooops....i meant bouncer. I am already shakin

karthik said...

Oh well, someone talked about test series?

If ODIs are gonna be a whitewash, my take is that Test will be a nightmare!

Yuvraj/Gambhir (or both)

will be Indian front line batsmen.

Need I say more?

I'm sure it will be sheer fun and great games!

let's watch out.

karthik said...


If you throw a 160 km/h bouncer at Sehwag, you will find the ball racing at 180 km/h to the pavillion in nanoseconds!

Joe Antony said...

I never said NZ can win tests, but the bowlers esp Iain will give a tougher run than the ODIs, also remember Indian bowling squad also goes for change for tests, when we compare the bowling squads of NZ and india , for now NZ squad does look better. Remember india haven't won a game in NZ with bowlers' bailout.

Anonymous said...

Well one advice for all these commenters on this blog.

There is one honest chap (obrien) who is detailing stuff that we
all were missing to hear from

If you all have nothing much
to take positive out of this
just keep quiet.

No one is asking for your expert negative comments or act like
an expert.

This blog is for people who play cricket and take positives out of

If you have nothing to do please dont do it hear or u might unknowingly stop a great person
from sharing his experiences.

Obrien, keep sharing your experiences, helps a lot of
cricketers like us who could
not make it to the level you
are at.

Chriz said...

Dear Iain,

Now I have started respecting for your honesty.. Bro you rock in every sense...

and the way you potrayed my cricketing idol "sachin" in good light showed that you have respect for him too..

you have a great future ... keep rocking...

God bless

Srimant said...

Ian, one look at you in the Australian series and one look at your blog and I'm a huge fan of yours. I'm sure the whole NZ team is reeling under the shewag phobia. Well....I have been watching him since his debut against SA and he never has been any different, but the scary thing is he is beginning to be consistently ferocious......honestly you can not plan anything to contain him, so don't feel bad....I'd have told you the secret of getting him out but I'm too much of a proud Indian to do so.....keep enjoying Ian, you will have your day

prasu said...

Hi Iain,

Myself prasanth from india.

I hope you do well in the future. No one becomes international player without having something in him/her. So positively hope that you will do better and give a strong reply in future games. Specially happy with the way you are honest about your ideas and so hope you succeed very well in the future. take care

Anonymous said...

Joe Antony

I am an Indian supporter as well. But you, Sir, are a f*ing moron. Indians are known for class and you represent us well. ( not.. you bozo )

Anonymous said...

Continuing, Iain it's best to moderate the blog comments. There are trolls everywhere and they will take over your blog.

Rock said...

Hey Iain..... Nice blog dude. I like ur honesty. Keep writing about ur xperiences on-field N off-field. Gud luck for u in the last ODI and the test series.... Though being an Indian I xpect India to clinch the test series too. I hope u'll njoy ur bowling in coming days. Hoping for a tough and intersting series. I don't mind losing as long as the matches are interesting enough to keep me sit till the end of the match.

Pankaj Gupta said...

Hey Mate:
I am waiting for your recent comment on the match, 3rd ODI, its really very depressing to see only 3 overs from you, I was expecting more overs from you.
But really Vettori is the Best..

David said...

Re: Nash.

Yes, in the recent charity matches such as the 20-20 and the beach cricket stuff, Nash has been bowling upwards of 137kph with his effort ball being 140-144kph.

In his youth, (The Lords Test) he was bowling in the mid 140s. His subsequent back injuries picked up while at Middlesex reduced his pace but he always had a nasty bouncer.

He and Cairns were bowling 90mph against England in 1999 (the series we won)

And he still continues to bowl faster than Mills, Southee, O'Brien.

Must be pathetic when an old retired man can bowl faster than supposedly prime athletes.

That's cause Nash didn't make his mark on green wickets where bowling 125kmh will get you results.

Anonymous said...

@ Dave
I watched Iain Obrien's speeds last night closely and he was consistently 140+ with his quickest ball being 145kph so please get your facts right first before you sound so sure of something.

ANAND said...

The wicket had nothing in it for the bowlers.

The bowlers cannot be blamed. Even wasim akram or glenn mcgarth would have struggled on this wicket.

Its a one off match adding to the effects of rain.

I would not read much in to the amount of runs scored off the bowlers.

You would have needed LOT of luck
to get any kind of help from this wicket and luck decided not to side newzealand. that is all.

No professional bowler will get dejected with his figures in this

Anonymous said...

I have started to like your detailed and honest blog.

I am waiting to see your expression of joy (of watching Sehwag batting) or sadness of feeling the heat of the same.

Good Luck for your next match and tests.


Anonymous said...

@Anony mouse

Oh dear street criketer, kiddo.. this blog is from a international cricketer, who is known worldwide, esp when you are playing against a country like india where cricket is a religion, where there are millions of cricketers, there will be millions of expert cricket fans looking at you and commenting at you tougher. A true cricket fan like me, likes to see close contests, not something like what we saw the other day a butcher (sehwag) mincing the NZ bowling a total washout. If you dont like negative comments you need to stay out of blogging.

Anonymous said...

I like your Blog because it comes out of ur heart....good luck for the next match mate

Anonymous said...

Hi Iain

Wish you all good luck, we as a spectator would love to see the competition to go to the edge.. stick to the basics, be disciplined on & off the field.

As the saying goes,
follow the means, the ends will follow..

good luck..
A cricket lover from India.

Anonymous said...

hi lain ur a good writer but ur bowling needs to improve...especially when ur bowling to atacking players like sehwag and warner..

the ONE said...

my anonymouse, u sound NAIVE wonder if u have ever bowled in your life.

If u have anything to say go and say it to the curator.haha if u can even find him. LOL.

otherwise dont waste ur time international bowlerd need advice from the kind of u

Anonymous said...

hahahah a VERY LITTLE BIT OF SUPPORT from the PITCH and already indian superstars look like junior cricketers. LOL.

Good going OBRIEN. Finally you proved
indian team are only FLAT TRACK

Except for sachin tendulkar ofcourse who is best on all kinds of wickets.

Anonymous said...

well done kiwis, you have shown KIWI are better when the wicket is live and not a flat track.

well done thats what cricket is. Take lot of positives from here.

Indian team is only good on flat tracks. If the bowler get 1% assistance they are no good as cricketers.


Anonymous said...


12.2 I Sharma to Ryder, SIX, Oh boy this is fun. Ryder on the storm. Ishant v Ryder and we have a clear winner. No words exchanged this time.

10.6 I Sharma to Ryder, SIX, Flamboyant whack over midwicket. He made it look so good. Ishant has a few words to say at Ryder who just shrugs his shoulder. Praveen steps in to cool and puts his hand up to Ryder Ishant is still steaming as he walks off. Don't know what the fuss was about. Don't know who started it. That was furious frivolity

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

*I Sharma (rf) 7.2 1 63 8.59

'Brien 7.3 0 43 2 5.73

Here is a positive, Brien on a helpful wicket u beat Ishanth LOL.

Pankaj Gupta said...

May be you know more about cricket than me, but atleast you shold respect cricketer...who oviously are much much better than you....
don't compare Ishant and Brien..
Ishant has played only 2 match in the series and in last ODI he came after injury...
still taken as many Wkts as Brien in less overs.
If you wanna compare, do compare whole career........
Ishant: 27match, 40 wkts,
Brien: 10match, 14 wkts........
don't seems silly to compare both....

Its not personal for Brien,
I know your are great player and rspect you. And you will rock in future..

Anonymous said...


Well how can u compare sachin and sehwag. Two different galaxies with
their own stars.

anyway now you have done that comparison, hope u stick to it.

Anonymous said...

V Sehwag 5 5 1 299 125* 74.75

SR Tendulkar 3 3 1 244 163* 122.00

Thats the two stalwarts u just compared. LOL. one with an avg
of 74 and another with avg of 122

Anonymous said...

ahhh guys, it says "destructive" batting.

Clearly Sehwag is more destructive than Tendulkar. It does not make him a better batter....

Good luck for the upcomming tests O'Brien, will be supporting ya from the living room with my Tui as always!!!

Dr. Farhan Ahmad Khan said...

I am cricket lover and basically from india, but i support good cricket, i think newzealand played well for 392 a massive score, but if you see closely what actually is the turning point is Mac' dismissal and then run outs.
Sir, we can be good friend

Dr. Farhan

Anonymous said...

An anonymous(e) is comparing sharma and Iain... this is a bit on the insulting side for Iain to be compared with a teenager :)