New Zealand Black Caps caned for all talk, no action

BRISBANE'S Courier Mail has done a number on the Kiwi cricketers' numbers after their stodgy batting at the Gabba.

The paper asked: "Are New Zealand Just All Talk?" as it rifled thorough the talking points after day four of the opening test.

"With Brendon McCullum at the helm, New Zealand has vowed to play an aggressive brand of cricket. But this certainly hasn't been on show in Brisbane."

It pointed out that Australia had scored at more than four an over in its first dig, and over six an over in the second innings. In stark comparison, New Zealand managed just 2.6 runs an over on day four, with battling opener Martin Guptill dragging the chain with a scoring rate under 18.

"Kane Williamson aside, (New Zealand) have found scoring difficult on what is widely considered a batsman-friendly surface," the piece continued.

"As New Zealand's only realistic option on Monday is to play for a draw, it will be interesting to see whether Guptill's's team mates follow his stodgy lead."

Writer James Mathey added to the Australian media's praise of Kane Williamson, and quoted former Aussie star Mike Hussey saying: "He has been all class."

Mathey also noted that a changing of the guard had degraded Australia's fielding standards.

"Australia can expect some growing pains as Joe Burns seeks to establish himself in-close," he wrote.

"Given the hype about how good Australia's pace-bowling stocks are, they won't be any use if their fielders can't support them for the rest of the series."