So the Blackcaps couldn’t quite jump that final hurdle, bringing the fairytale run to an end this morning. They may not have won the 2009 Champions Trophy, vanquished by the maddeningly good Australian side, but the nature of the finals run was at once pleasing and encouraging. This was a New Zealand cricket team that could have quite easily given up after the opening loss to South Africa, and again as the injuries piled up. Yet they summoned a previously absent fortitude, and, backs to the wall found a way to string together three do-or-die victories.
It would seem Daniel Vettori has finally managed to impose his will on the side and instill some of his grit and guile in his charges, even when he himself is injured on the sidelines. Would he have made a difference on the field in the final? Undoubtedly. Would it have been enough of a difference to swing the match in New Zealands favour? That, we cannot say. But there is no point wondering what might have been, better to wonder what might be. The bowling attack looks more assured with Shane Bond back, Martin Guptill is finding his feet at the top of the order and Grant Elliott provides a much needed steady hand in the middle overs. These are things to build upon, a hopefully more stable side for the likes of Tim Southee and Kane Williamson to emerge into.
Is the future looking bright? Not quite yet, but there is some sort of glow up ahead that may well dazzle in days to come, and that… that is progress. I’m proud of you.