Mark Richardson drops New Zealand truth bomb amid three-decade drought

The former Black Caps opening batsman says the New Zealand cricket team has put the Australian side on a pedestal.

Pictured Mark Richardson
Mark Richardson believes the Black Caps' struggles with Australia is mostly mental. Image: Getty

Australian sports fans know all too well the feeling of being in New Zealand's shadow. The Wallabies last held the Bledisloe Cup in 2002 and, given the current state of rugby in this country, don’t look like winning it back anytime this century.

The All Blacks have had such a dominance over Australia for such a long time their supporters don’t even bother mocking us anymore. The bagging we can handle. But when it turns to sympathy, that hurts even greater.

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It is some small comfort, then, that our cricketers continue to do an All Blacks on the Black Caps. Good blokes that they are – and fine cricketers against just about everyone else - New Zealand just can’t get the job done when it comes to beating the Aussies.

Yes, they showed some tremendous fight during the first Test in Wellington and dominated large slabs of the match. Australia's batting – apart from Cameron Green and a Nathan Lyon cameo - was ordinary and the tourists were there for the taking.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 29: Will Skelton of the Wallabies embraces Jordan Petaia of the Wallabies after losing the The Rugby Championship & Bledisloe Cup match between the Australia Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 29, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Mark Richardson says Australia's hold over the Kiwis in cricket is similar to that of the New Zealand rugby team's dominance over the Wallabies. Image: Getty (Cameron Spencer via Getty Images)

Yet it still ended up an emphatic 172-run win to the visitors. New Zealand wasn’t good enough - again. Not even close. The Black Caps haven't beaten Australia in a Test since 2011/12 and their last series win was in 1989/90. The head-to-head scorecard reads 35-8 the Aussies' way.

Mark Richardson says Australia intimidates the Black Caps

Former opening bat Mark Richardson gave a fascinating insight into the mental hold Australian teams have on the Kiwis. He suggested they think the same away our Wallabies think when they look across at the men in black.

"There's probably a little brother/big brother scenario," Richardson said. "We respect Australian cricket – we know how good it is – and there's that rivalry and we want to do well. There is an element of pedestalling and there's an element of intimidation. If people want to be really honest with themselves, (there's) just a little bit of lack of belief.

"You look at really good English sides who’ve come to New Zealand, really good Indian sides who have probably recently had really good records against Australia and beaten Australia. We will look them in the eye and compete and do some great stuff.

"And then Australia will come here and we just always seem to take a backward step." Maybe we should cut a deal that sees Australia play the Black Caps more and the All Blacks less.

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