Tag: Brendon McCullum (page 2 of 2)

Brendon McCullum uses his feet

Brendon McCullum hitting off the cricketing bowlsBrendon McCullum recently found his feet. Now he’s putting them to good use.

If you’ve read the page we just linked to, this might sound kind of familiar. This is the Test version of that post.

Brendon McCullum’s had 52 Test innings. In his first 45, he managed two hundreds and six fifties. In his last seven, he’s added another three fifties – all against England. That in itself wouldn’t count for much if it weren’t standing unsteadily atop his form in the shorter forms of the game.

Brendon McCullum hit the record Twenty20 score recently and the Brendon McCullum one-day post mumbles on and on about how he’s started to come good in that form. He’s a batsman on the up and maybe yesterday’s 97 was a sign that he’s starting to think he can do the same in Tests.

Why not use the same approach? It’s been working for him. If anything, he could be even more successful. In Twenty20 and when opening one-day innings, you’ve really got to go after every ball. In Tests he’s got the luxury that he can leave some of the more dangerous deliveries while still flaying everything else.

In fact, he could leave even the semi-dangerous deliveries and maybe just work ones and twos off the bad balls. He could bat all day if he really minimises risk. Oh, wait. This isn’t using the same approach at all, is it?

England v New Zealand, first Test at Lord’s – day one
New Zealand 208 (Brendon McCullum 97, James Anderson 3-42)

Brendon McCullum hits record Twenty20 score in opening match of IPL

If Twenty20, in the form of the IPL, is supposed to be conquering the cricket world, nobody told Ravi Shastri, who was addressing the crowd before the first match between Bangalore Royal Challengers and Kolkata Knight Riders.

With an audience already whipped into high fervour, Shastri was given the task of whipping them still higher. Introducing each of the team captains, Shastri started with Rahul Dravid, who was at his home ground.

“A man who’s scored more than 10,000 runs in both forms of the game.”

Both forms of the game, Ravi? Kind of implies that there are only two forms and that Twenty20 isn’t one of them. Ah well, something else for the marketing men to work on.

Brendon McCullum and some greenery on some other occasionIn the actual cricket, Brendon McCullum didn’t so much loom large as obscure all else. 158 not out was the highest-ever Twenty20 score, beating Cameron White’s 141 for Somerset.

McCullum’s innings came off just 73 balls and featured no fewer than 13 sixes. Nobody else in the match passed 20.

Last month, Mike Selvey wrote an interesting article in The Guardian about how McCullum has fashioned an innovative technique for one-day cricket. Selvey points out that the slips are effectively taken out of play as McCullum’s bat comes down at such an angle that edges fly over them.

That said, we didn’t see slips for the majority of McCullum’s innings yesterday. Nor did we see edges.

In truth, this match didn’t show Twenty20 in its best light. The crowd still went mental when McCullum cleared the rope off the final ball of Kolkata Knight Riders’ innings, but maybe not as mental as they went for his first few sixes. It seems everyone can tire of the six-hitting a little bit.

The best Twenty20 matches are those that go to the wire and Twenty20’s greatest strength is that this is often the case. Every ball counts. Yesterday, the second half of the match didn’t count – although the first half was quite a spectacle.

Brendon McCullum finds his feet

Brendon McCullum - in shoesYou’d think that by the age of 26, he’d know to look at the end of his legs, but no. Up until now Brendon McCullum’s been incorrectly forcing his footwear onto all sorts of incorrect body parts. He’s been a disaster zone of misapplied shoddery.

McCullum’s been finding his feet in cricket as well, albeit metaphorically. England supporters might be under the impression that he’d done that long ago after he posted scores of 42, 80 not out, 4, 58 and 77 against their team at substantially more than a run a ball. Actually, those were his 10th, 11th and 12th fifties and he’s hit no hundreds in his 104 one-day international innings.

In fact, eight of Brendon McCullum’s 12 fifties have come in his last 22 innings and the four before that were only 51 not out, 56 not out, 51 not out and 50 not out. Before his 86 not out against Australia at Hamilton almost exactly a year ago, when New Zealand successfully chased down 346, McCullum was averaging just 21.71. Since then, he’s averaged 49.82.

Take the period of 14 matches since he was promoted to open and he’s scored half his fifties and averaged 53.66. Not bad for a man who can’t dress himself.

New Zealand v England, fifth one-day international at Christchurch
England 242-7 (Kyle Mills 4-36)
New Zealand 213-6 (Brendon McCullum 77, Ryan Sidebottom 3-51)
New Zealand won after a Duckworth-Lewis calculation.
New Zealand win the series 3-1.

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