‘Spineless’ Kiwis savaged by their own
New Zealand media has heaped more criticism on the Black Caps following their Test capitulation in Australia, only adding to the confidence knock coach Gary Stead concedes they must address.
The Kiwis, already licking gaping wounds following their 3-0 drubbing, will arrive home to some poisonous headlines from the country's columnists.
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Writing for stuff.co.nz, Mark Reason described the performance of Kane Williamson's men as "spineless", taking particular aim at the apparent unwillingness of the batsmen to sell their wicket dearly.
The New Zealand Herald's Chris Rattue said several great careers had been badly tainted by a "shameful" series, one of the worst statistically in the country's history given the heavy nature of the three defeats.
"Our greatest Test team? What a joke," Rattue wrote.
"A potential cricketing Everest, at least in terms of interest generated and maybe even the result, turned into an avalanche of bitter disappointment and embarrassment.
"They were a shambles and it means we will never look at the career of Williamson in the same light again. Nor (Ross) Taylor's unfortunately."
New Zealand's much-criticised ranking of second in the world has dropped to third, behind Australia, and could head further south given they next host top dogs India.
The six-week India visit culminates in two Tests and Stead hopes his team can unearth the mojo that has made the Black Caps so hard to beat on home soil in recent seasons.
"I think everyone in the team is hurting and hurting a lot around it - we wanted to perform better than this and Australia didn't allow us to," he told reporters.
"I think there's no doubt the team has probably taken a bit of a confidence knock ... but we've got to go back and regroup, dress ourselves down a bit, have a look in the mirror and ask ourselves 'how do we get better?' "No doubt about it, India are equally a strong team as well so the challenge that they'll bring will be big for us.
"We need to go back to thinking that we've played some very, very good Test series in New Zealand."