March 19, 2019

McCullum century helps NZ to safety against India

Look I hit the ball and my stumps are still intact. Happy now? says Brendon

New Zealand opening batsman Brendon NcCullum has guided the Black Caps to a position of relative safety at the close of the fourth days play in the second cricket Test against India at Hyderabad.

McCullum ended the day on 124 not out and New Zealand with a 115 run lead with six wickets in hand. Tim McIntosh (49) had earlier in partnership with McCullum produced New Zealand’s first Test match century opening stand in six years.

The knock will go some way towards silencing the legions of Kiwi critics who have been quick to critisize McCullum since he decided to stop wicket Keeping at Test level. Many doubted he had the stats to warrant selection as a specialist batsman alone.

At least now he bought himself a bit more time to adjust to the demands of succeeding as a Test Match opening batsman.

At times in the past McCullum has been his own worst enemy by not communicating effectively the reasons behind the decisions he has made about his playing role. Many close to the player know about the injury problems he has faced, and understand why he has made the choices he has.

But for the vast majority of Kiwi cricket fans all we have seen is an attitude of “It’s none of your business”, which hasn’t gone down too well will many supporters. Certainly in newswarped’s house there is loud grumblings every time current wicket Keeper Gareth Hopkins gets dismissed for not a lot (which is quite often).

As well as learning to open the batting at Test level, Brendon needs to learn to open up better about his reasons for not keeping.

New Zealand 350 and 237 for 4 (McCullum 124*) lead India 472 (Harbhajan 111*, Sehwag 96, Laxman 74, Vettori 5-135) by 115 runs