Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Fleming's Test Legacy
For myself, the last two tests of Fleming's, has summed up his career perfectly. When New Zealand needed him to go and scored a big one, he didn't.
Fleming a player who has managed to average 39 over a 100 Plus Test Match Career,has become a player that has averaged 40.
His supporters in the Media and the Public who constantly rave on about how important he is to this Test side and how important he has been over 14 years, fail to see what he hasn't achieved. You see Fleming is one of the most gifted left handed batsman the game has seen in decades, he must also be one of the great underachievers of someone with his vast talents.
He never saved us when it mattered most, he never led us to a victory against Australia, when we were in turmoil, he never played the innings of his life so we would escape with a draw, when we needed Fleming most, he never delivered. His supporters in the media, in the public and on forums such as "pandasport" will always say the cliche comments, "A great captain", "A great slips catcher", "7000 runs" Of course these are great achievements, and the selectors must like him, because even when he was going thru bad patches, he was always selected, and if there was any talk of him being dropped, NZ sports journos, would be outrage, screaming and yelling, what a assest to the team he is.
What they leave out though, is the complete picture, a man who has the second worst conversion rate of 50's to 100's in the game for those that have scored over 40 fifties. A man who never led his team to a test victory Over Australia, or a series victory over Pakistan or South Africa, a man who whenever he seemed to be in, got out at the worst possible time, a man who in nearly every press conference, gave the same speech, failure after failure, "I have to be more consistent"
Well Mr Fleming, you were consistent thruout your career, I will give you that, it seems every series of every year you played the same way. Don't get me wrong, you will go down in the annuals of NewZealand Sport, as one of our best batsmen, and you are a media darling, only Johan Lomu is probably more loved, in front of the camera your PUBLIC image is second to none, you have scored over 7000 runs and taken more catches than nearly any fielder in cricket.
But for those that say, you are a legend, I disagree, the last two tests of yours, sums up your Career IMHO, a beautifully gifted player, grafting away, needing a a big score to save his team, getting off to a good start, and then going out before the job is done.
Your career with the Blackcaps, in your last innings ever, sums up his career, perfectly.