Brendon McCullum's father Stu full of pride

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 13:16 18/02/2014

Was McCullum's 302 the ultimate innings?

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Stu McCullum will have "a quiet red or a beer" waiting for son Brendon when they finally meet up back in Christchurch.

The proud father of the Black Caps captain did it tough at the Basin Reserve this morning.

The nails were bitten to the quick by the time McCullum Jr eased the boundary away that made him the first New Zealander to score a triple century in test cricket.

A nuggety left-handed batsman and sometime wicketkeeper, McCullum Sr spent 14 seasons playing for Otago. His biggest fear when either of his sons, Brendon and Nathan, are batting in international cricket, is that they'll get off the mark.

But the thought that the younger one might one day make 300? Well, that was far beyond what even a cricket-mad dad could imagine.

"Generally I don't get nervous, but this morning I did," McCullum Sr said.

Not that he's had huge cause to feel anxious in these two tests against India. McCullum Jr has been regarded as a lot of things, but rarely as the man capable of batting for days on end to save his team or guide them to impregnable positions.

But his 224 at Eden Park and now 302 at the Basin Reserve have given him a far different, more exalted, place in history than anyone could've imagined a fortnight ago.

"He's changed, possibly, the way he treats the innings in front of him at the time," his father said. "Obviously the team certainly required him to do that and he's done that the last two tests. He likes to stand up to a challenge.

"He has been a dasher and will probably be a dasher in the future again as well. But the situations required him to do what he's done and I'm very pleased the way he's gone about it."

McCullum Jr has had his critics, not least since he assumed the captaincy. Some players might see these last two innings as an emphatic way of silencing those, but McCullum Sr said that wasn't in his son's nature.

"I haven't spoken to him yet, I'll talk to him over the next couple of days. I'm sure it's very satisfying, but I think the way the team's going is the most satisfying thing for him. With Mike Hesson and Brendon as a partnership, plus the other support staff, they're making some good yards."

Dad almost wasn't part of today's wonderful scenes at the Basin, having made a bit of a hash of his plane bookings.

At one stage he was due to fly back to Christchurch yesterday, then it was this morning and now it will be tonight.

"We'll have a drink when he gets home."

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