McCullum Snr did it tough at Basin Reserve

HAMISH BIDWELL
Last updated 06:37 19/02/2014

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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 yesterday 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 played 14 seasons 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," he 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 have 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 ... 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.

Dad almost wasn't part of yesterday'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 on Monday, then it was yesterday morning but eventually it was last night.

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

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