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A tale of two troubled batting orders

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New Zealand will want to iron out their top-order batting woes when they host Bangladesh in Test and ODI series over the next four weeks. The lack of a steady opening Test pair has been a problem that dates back to the early 1990s for New Zealand, and the lack of a consistent combination at the top seems to have now infiltrated the one-day game. The recent tour of South Africa was another disappointing one for New Zealand, and their poor starts were probably the biggest cause for concern.

There were high hopes that the selectors had found a viable opening combination for the Tests in Craig Cumming and Michael Papps. Cumming showed some form - before having plates inserted into his face after being hit by Dale Steyn in the second Test - but the opening stands in the two matches were 16, 12, 26 and 4. This was largely due to Michael Papps, who had a record-breaking domestic season in 2006-07 but was unable to cope with the pace of the South African attack. His failure to reach double figures in the Tests gives the selectors a major headache. Do they persevere with him or bring in yet another opener? Jamie How had a great one-day series at No. 3 in South Africa, and is used to opening. On the other hand the Wellington captain, Matthew Bell, has scored a huge number of domestic runs already this season and has international experience, having appeared in 13 Tests between 1998 and 2001. Whatever the selectors decide, it is important to find a combination and stick with it, as England will provide tougher competition when they arrive in February.

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new zeland test opening batsmen have always been problem hopefully they can find some good players to open
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