Wellington - New Zealand's media savaged the national side's batting line-up Monday following Australia's crushing nine-wicket win in the first Test in Brisbane.
"Disgrace at the Gabba" ran the headline in Wellington's Dominion Post after New Zealand's hopes of claiming their first Test victory on Australian soil since 1985 were shattered by the hosts' inexperienced bowling attack.
"New Zealand had talked a confident game going into the Test, but failed to match intention and self-belief with hard performance," New Zealand Herald columnist David Leggat wrote.
While pundits pointed out that a spate of dropped catches made it difficult for the Black Caps to put pressure on Australia, blame for the loss was placed squarely on the batsmen.
The Dominion Post's Mark Geenty said "batsman after batsman perished meekly", failing to show the resolve needed in Test cricket and throwing away their wickets with poorly judged shots.
"From wanting to impose themselves on the match, New Zealand's batsmen too readily took the soft option," he wrote.
"They were confident, hyped up, then almost overcome by the gravity of the situation in a country (where) they haven't won for 26 years."
The Herald's player ratings for the match gave New Zealand's top five batsmen a combined score of only 16 out of 50, with captain Ross Taylor awarded 2/10 after a duck in the second innings and 14 runs in the first.
"His first duck in his Test career capped off a forgettable match where he failed to lead from the front," it said.
The only batsman to win any praise was Dean Brownlie, who notched up an undefeated 77 in the first innings of only his second Test.
The Herald's Leggat dismissed Taylor's hopes of squaring the series in the second and final Test in Hobart beginning on Friday as a "pipe dream, saying New Zealand's long drought in Australia appeared set to continue.