Failure to finish off tailenders worries McCullum

Last updated 10:54 13/01/2014

Pick your World XI for test cricket

Share your stories, photos and videos.
Brendon McCullum
HITS OUT: Brendon McCullum swings wildly in the first T20.
Opinion poll

What will the Black Caps' best weapon be against India in the coming tour?

Green seaming pitches

India's traditionally poor away form

Jesse Ryder

Fast bowling stocks: Southee, Boult, Milne

Ross Taylor's world class form

Series-changing unpredictable weather

Pluck of the McCullum brothers

Small, quiet crowds India's not used to

Casual sledging in the middle

Corey 'Boom Boom' Anderson

Indian complacency

Vote Result

Related Links

Doull: India present No 1 target for Black Caps Cairns: Opportunity lost in Hamilton ODI flop Adam Milne the quickest in garden of Eden Pick your World XI for test cricket World XI: Matchwinners make the cut

Relevant offers


Wellington Firebirds sign Michael Bracewell from Otago as family complete full set of first-class teams Corey Anderson, Adam Milne continue flood of New Zealand cricketers into England Twenty20 comp Speed and spin for Black Caps: Adam Milne poised for key role at Champions Trophy Kane Williamson vows Black Caps won't play conservative cricket in Champions Trophy Australian cricketers call in former government minister Greg Combet to guide them in pay dispute See you in two weeks: Bangladesh rock Black Caps but teams will be judged for real in Champions Trophy rematch Black Cap Doug Bracewell sentenced to community work for drink-driving Eoin Morgan century leads England to 72-run win over South Africa Australian captain Steve Smith hopeful of resolution to pay dispute Recap: Black Caps v Bangladesh - ODI tri-series match six

It might sound like a sexy number, but 153 is still 50 short of the one at the forefront of the Black Caps' mind.

When you get beaten by 203, as New Zealand did in their final one-day international against the West Indies last Wednesday, you don't forget in a hurry.

So while everyone's happy that fast bowler Adam Milne clocked 153.1kmh during Saturday's 81-run Twenty20 win over the Windies at Eden Park, and especially that he only went for 15 off his four overs, it's what happens next at Westpac Stadium on Wednesday that really matters.

A week ago, the Black Caps were said to be pounding the most pathetic West Indian team to tour New Zealand, or anywhere for that matter. The results during the rest of their truth were a foregone conclusion, with only the margin of New Zealand's inevitable victories up for discussion.

Except then the Windies went out on Hamilton's Seddon Park and posted 363-4 and rolled the hosts for 160, to draw the one-day series two-all.

That's not something you need to remind Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum of, or that his team weren't able to bowl the Windies out on Saturday. Seventy-seven for eight, chasing 190 to win in Auckland, the tourists' ninth-wicket pair of Nikita Miller and Samuel Badree put on an unbeaten 31, giving McCullum cause to question whether his bowlers have entirely recovered from their horrendous outing in Hamilton.

"Our bowling was very good when it needed to be and at the end there, when we were trying to execute some pretty strong plans at the death, I thought our execution still needs some work. But at least we had some strong plans and knew what we were trying to do," McCullum said after the Eden Park win.

Wednesday's clash at Westpac Stadium is the last Twenty20 International New Zealand will play before the World Cup begins in Bangladesh in March. That adds a degree of importance to the occasion, but for reasons that McCullum indicated were as much to do with the recent past as the future.

"Yes we need to ensure we're ready to go to that T20 World Cup, but we've also got another opportunity to close out a series and we missed one the other day [in Hamilton] and if we're serious about trying to win big tournaments then you've got to close out those sorts of games, so Wellington presents a big challenge for us and I'm looking forward to seeing how we respond," said McCullum.

Ad Feedback

On an individual basis, he'll no doubt be approaching the game with some confidence. His innings of 60 not out at Eden Park was exactly the sort of knock McCullum's critics would say he was incapable of.

But if he can play another mature, responsible, well-paced hand, then he might silence one or two ahead of the coming series against India.

You could say similar for wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi, whose 45 not out from 28 balls provided a taste of the talent he's displayed at domestic level for Wellington.

- The Dominion Post


Special offers
Opinion poll

Should bouncers be banned from cricket?

Yes - they're too dangerous

Neutral - it is what it is

No - it's just bad luck when it goes wrong

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content