The sacking of Ross Taylor, and Jesse Ryder's lack of desire to return to the national team, would appear to point to problems at the top.
Add to that the team's dismal performance in the first test against South Africa, which included a first innings total of 45, and Black Caps supporters would be forgiven for giving up on the team altogether.
But things aren't what they seem. Here are ten reasons to be positive about our boys in white.
- 26. No matter how bad things get, and no matter how dismally the Black Caps perform, the previous all-time low score of 26 must surely remain safe forever. That means we have seen the worst. Things can only get better!
- We move on. Coach Mike Hesson told the media that the team has moved on from the first test drubbing. They're thinking positive and putting it all behind them, as if it never happened. Let's do the same. 45 all out, you say? What are you talking about? Don't be ridiculous! That never happened. There was no first test. They're only calling the next game the second test because of... um... er... oh, I know! Apparently in South Africa the number one brings bad luck. So they always start a test series with the second test. Just like some buildings don't have a thirteenth floor. Don't believe me? Look it up in Conservapedia.
- We could have won the last test. The South Africans only won because they scored more runs and took more wickets. It could have been so different.
- We made them bat. The first test loss would have been less embarrassing if we could have made the South Africans bat twice. But we should focus on the positives. We did force them to bat once.
- Our best players remain unaffected. Our top players won't be mentally scarred by this hellish tour, no matter what happens during the rest of the series. That's because they're all in New Zealand.
- We're in a rebuilding phase. Isn't that what teams say when they're being flogged on a regular basis? It takes time to build a special team. It also takes competence, skill, talent, and leadership, but we don't have any of those things, so we'll just have to hope that somehow the passing of time fixes everything.
- We've just been unlucky. The South Africans have tinny luck, you have to admit. There is absolutely no skill in the way they amass runs and take wickets on a regular basis against just about every other test team in the world.
- Holiday: Give the boys a break. They're meant to be on holiday!
- Balance. Coach Mike Hesson realises the team balance is wrong, but the good news is this can be easily fixed. We'll see a big change once every non-Otago player has been dropped from the team.
- It's only a game. A stupid, stupid game. Damn you, New Zealand Cricket!