McCullum in admiration of swashbuckling Dutch
The Dutch are Brendon McCullum's kind of cricketers.
The New Zealand captain isn't a man who'll die wondering and admires that trait in tonight's Group 1 opponents at the World Twenty20 tournament.
The Netherlands have played spectacular cricket in their two games, at Chittagong's Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. Bowled out for 39, en route to a humiliating defeat to Sri Lanka, the Dutch then went down swinging in a six-run loss against South Africa.
Talent-wise, they're modest. But their audacious attitude will present New Zealand with a tricky assignment, at 10.30pm tonight (New Zealand time).
"The way the Dutch play, I think it's incredibly courageous and it's rocks and diamonds so to speak,'' McCullum said yesterday.
"They're either going to come off or they're not and it takes good balls to play like that. Hence why they're a dangerous team to play against, because they don't fear the losing side of things.
"We've prepared well today and we'll see what we come up with tomorrow. But hopefully if we play well, we should be strong enough for them.''
Group 1's developed into a bit of a bun-fight, with South Africa continuing to stave off certain defeat and England tipping over Sri Lanka. Only two teams can progress from the group into the semifinals and those three, plus New Zealand, all retain good chances to.
The Black Caps conclude the group stage with a match against Sri Lanka, in the early hours of Tuesday morning (NZT) and McCullum's just trying to keep New Zealand's qualification equation as simple as possible.
"We've got to play two good games of cricket. We've got to beat The Netherlands well and we've got to beat Sri Lanka a couple of days after that. If we don't, then we don't deserve to be here in the back end of the tournament,'' he said.
Barring Sri Lanka's big win over the Dutch, the games in Chittagong have been nip and tuck affairs. McCullum talked about how fine the margins are in Twenty20 cricket, but the humidity and dew are also turning the game into something of a lottery.
Frankly, it seems that if you are required to bowl last during night games at Chittagong, your chances of winning are poor.
"If you've got spinners which you rely on, I think it does [become a lottery],'' said McCullum.
"Your seamers can be still quite destructive if the ball's not ridiculously wet. Last night looked pretty tough [for Sri Lanka against England].''