A fan at the Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan has delivered a brutal sledge across the Tasman that hits just a little too close to home.
But it also shows the Kiwis are getting just a little bit cocky as the side is set to overtake Australia for the world No. 1 team on the Test rankings.
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New Zealand appear destined to put the hurt on Pakistan after stumps on day 2 of the Test match with Kane Williamson — the recently crowned number one Test batsman in the world — hitting another century to finish not out on 112 with Henry Nicholls adding 89.
Just three wickets down, New Zealand are just 11 runs short of Pakistan’s first innings score of 297 at 3/286.
But cameras found a supporter that may have been getting too far ahead of themselves.
With a smug smirk, the supporter held a sign reading “Cricket bats for sale. Barely used. Call: S. Smith, J. Burns @ Cricket Australia.
New Zealand appear set to claim the world’s number one Test team ranking and are provisionally ahead of Australia at the moment. The ICC only officially update the rankings at the end of a series.
A win for Australia in Sydney would return the Aussies to the top of the provisional rankings while India can snatch the World No. 1 with a 3-1 win. A drawn series between Australia and India would mean New Zealand stay on top of the rankings.
Kiwi fans have a bit of a short memory as Australia hasn’t lost to New Zealand in a Test match on either side of the Tasman since 2011, the only time in the past 27 years in Test matches, including a 3-0 drubbing in the series between the teams last year in Australia.
Steve Smith only averaged 42.8 in that series.
And Smith was also named the Test player of the decade just last week after scoring more than 7000 runs at an average of more than 65, the best since Bradman.
But the fan may have a point.
It was revealed that Australia’s current dire batting performances are the sides worst in 133-years with scores of just 191, 194 and 200 in completed innings’ against India.
AAP reporter Scott Bailey revealed the team’s average runs per wicket this season (21.50) is the lowest in any home summer since way back in 1887/88.
It also saw Burns dropped after a horror run of outs saw him under fire.
Smith is averaging just 3.33 having scored just 10 runs and he dropped down to third in the Test batting rankings behind Williamson and India’s Virat Kohli.
Williamson hit 251 against the West Indies and 129 in the first Test against Pakistan, as well as the 112 not out in the second Test to take the number one ranking.
Australia have been talking up how Smith can get out of his funk with all the Aussie batsmen looking to bounce back.
“It’s more about the method now,” assistant coach Andrew McDonald said.
“He’s working hard. He’s clearly hitting the ball well.
“Technically (both Smith and Marnus Labuschagne) are ready to go.
“It’s about how they are going to score their runs and how they’re going to combat these tactics from Indian bowlers and captains.
“There’s a challenge there for Steve to rebound, the world’s best players usually rebound and I think he’s in a really good space to perform come Sydney.”
Australia and New Zealand are set to play a five-match T20 series in late February and early March.