In the end, what many people expected to be a great contest turned out to be a complete anti-climax. Instead of New Zealand and Australia playing a hard-fought series, the home side managed to whitewash their trans-Tasman neighbours.
By the end of the 3-match rubber, the visitors wore a look of a despondent team waiting for their agony to end. They entered the final Test having already lost the series and were forced to play this match without many of their key players.
New Zealand are a much better team than what they showed in this series. The failures of their key batsmen Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor played a major role in their inability to put up a fight. The bowling attack too was hampered by the absence of Trent Boult from the first and the last match of the series.
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So, as the dust settles on this rather one-sided contest, let us look back at the 3 most important takeaways from this whitewash.
Labuschagne is new Smith
Not long ago, Australian fans and experts were worried about the declining stock of Australian batting. The Baggy Green seemed heavily reliant on just two of their batsmen – Steve Smith and David Warner. However, this series cemented the reputation of another batting star – Marnus Labuschagne.
The young batsman made a mark during The Ashes and pounded Pakistan in the previous serious. In these two matches, he further proved his credentials as one of the most capable batsmen in the world – at least when playing in the Australian conditions.
Now, Australia clearly have another heavy scorer in their top order to share the burden of getting runs for their team. With Warner back in form and Steve Smith at number four, Labuschagne fits in nicely at no. 3. Not only is he getting big runs, his batting seems to be getting better and better.
With three heavy-scoring batsmen in the line-up, Australia can now look at becoming a top batting side once again.