Black Caps skipper McCullum wants consistency

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:01 10/01/2014
Brendon McCullum
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HARD AT WORK: Brendon McCullum wants his New Zealand side to perform on a more consistent basis.

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Inconsistency remains the big bugbear for Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum.

New Zealand blew the chance to claim a one-day series win to back up their test series victory over the West Indies in Hamilton on Wednesday when they were walloped by 203 runs.

The two sides will now play two Twenty20 matches to end the tour - in Auckland tomorrow and in Wellington on Wednesday - and McCullum rapidly wants to turn around the lapse at Seddon Park.

"We've got a big series in a few days time in terms of T20, which we need to get right," McCullum said after New Zealand were second-rate with bat and ball in Hamilton.

"We haven't got many opportunities before the T20 World Cup. We've got to make sure we get our combinations, our executions and our game plan bang on for that." After losing the opening one-dayer on Boxing Day at Eden Park, New Zealand looked to have reasserted their dominance over the Windies in two rain-reduced ODIs before getting hammered in Hamilton to end the series tied.

McCullum said the lax display was frustrating and could prove more costly if constantly repeated.

"We're going to have to be consistent at a World Cup to win it," he said.

"You can't have a game off, and that's what we did today. We got outplayed and bullied really, which is not nice to admit."

Opposing skipper Dwayne Bravo, who struck a majestic 106 from only 81 balls in Hamilton, felt his injury-hit side showed plenty of spirit to bounce back.

"History shows that we are a better team when we are under pressure, with our backs against the wall," Bravo said.

"Now we go to a venue where we won our first game, so that gives ourselves a little more confidence.

"But we're not going to get too swell-headed or ahead of ourselves - it's a different format now and New Zealand are obviously a dangerous team and we have to respect them."

Kirk Edwards, who made his maiden ODI ton with a cultured 123 not out, isn't part of the T20 squad but opener Kieran Powell, who made a blockbusting 73 in Hamilton, will look to take the chance to again impress for a side missing stars like Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard.

"We are missing six or seven key players, but this is the chance for guys to make use of that," Bravo said.

"Powell had been going through a bad patch, but he has the ability, and he has the talent, and I think it's important that for us as a group to give him that support." Bravo was proud of the fight his players produced in Hamilton after being written off.

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"The team is going in the direction where we all support each other and believe in each other.

"We've still a long way to go. All I can keep stressing is that we have talent, but at times we don't really play to our true potential.

"So 2014 has started off pretty decent for us and we're just looking to continue to press, keep improving, keep encouraging each other, stay tight together as a team and everything's going to fall into place."

- Fairfax Media

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