• Monday, December 22, 2014

Freedom in the air

McCullum quietly confident

Sports Reporter
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum speaks at a press conference yesterday. PHOTO: STAR
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum speaks at a press conference yesterday. PHOTO: STAR

New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum is enjoying the best time of his career with the bat. The 32-year-old smacked a triple-ton and a double-ton in the two Tests against India to help his side take the series 1-0 after completing a 3-0 win in the ODIs. His side have all but erased the ignominy of being whitewashed at the hands of Bangladesh just four months ago and are looking confidently towards the ICC World Twenty20.  
“Our confidence is reasonably high. Even though it is a different format from Tests, I'm looking forward to the tournament to face the best of the best,” said McCullum yesterday while attending a press conference at the team hotel after having arrived in Dhaka earlier in the morning.  
The Kiwis begin their campaign with a game against former champions England on March 22 and they will play all their group matches in the port city. McCullum admits the importance of having all-round players, especially slow bowlers, in the side as the wicket in Chittagong allows spinners to dictate terms.
“We are coming with four genuine spinners who will be handy in these sorts of conditions, especially on the pitches of Chittagong. If our batsmen can get enough runs on the board, the spinners will be able to exploit the conditions well,” said McCullum.
Since New Zealand's whitewash in Bangladesh, they have gone through a sort of resurgence with young players like Corey Anderson and James Neesham taking the centre stage. McCullum is especially banking on the all-round abilities of these two to add variety to both bowling and batting and provide the edge when it matters.
“Corey (Anderson) has shown, within a short period of time, how devastating he can be in the shorter formats of the game. He is a huge part of the team. Jimmy Neesham is also a great talent. Hopefully they will play a key role in the tournament,” said McCullum, adding that if they get a good start in the tournament, they have the potential to go a long way.
“It is important that we start well. We are going to have to play consistently well. But in this format you need a bit of luck too to be successful. So if we play consistently, with a bit of luck in our side, we can go a long way,” stated McCullum. 

Published: 12:01 am Saturday, March 15, 2014

Last modified: 4:48 pm Saturday, March 15, 2014

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