Australia A v New Zealanders, Brisbane

Nice to play with that sort of freedom - McCullum

Daniel Brettig

November 24, 2011

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Brendon McCullum plays the pull shot, Australia A v New Zealanders, tour match, Brisbane, 1st day, November 24, 2011
Brendon McCullum: "A few of them [Australia A's bowlers] looked a little bit short from their lengths. [James] Pattinson was the pick of them, to be honest." © Getty Images

Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand batsman, has said he was trying to place Australia A's bowlers, who were aspiring for a place in the national XI, under pressure during his whirlwind innings of 146 on day one of the tour match in Brisbane.

Thanks largely to McCullum, the tourists enjoyed a fruitful first day's cricket in Australia, while setting back the claims of some of the fast men competing for a place in the home XI for the first Test at the Gabba.

"If you get decks as good as that one, it'd be nice to play with that sort of freedom," McCullum said. "It was quite a good attack as well, so it was nice to get away to quite a decent, positive start early on and try to put them under some pressure too."

McCullum reckoned the Australian bowlers were a tad too short on an even-tempered pitch, reducing their chances of claiming wickets. He singled out James Pattinson, followed by Ben Cutting, as the most effective.

"We'll find out a bit more about them over the next couple of days as well, but I thought they, if anything, bowled a touch short at the start. Once they pitched their lengths up a bit, they were a lot more dangerous," McCullum said. "[Kane] Williamson's wicket was probably the perfect length to bowl on that sort of pitch, but maybe it was because it was getting some nice carry as well. But a few of them looked a little bit short from their lengths. Pattinson was the pick of them, to be honest. Cutting [was] not too far away."

Overall McCullum said his team was happy with the way the tour had started, and he did not conceal the tourists' lofty ambitions for the two Tests. "We've got some pretty big aspirations but there's a lot of cricket to be played," McCullum said. "We started afresh today, on an even keel with the Aussie A team and it was a matter of trusting our own games, making sure we play as well as we can, and seeing what that does with them.

"We managed to put them under a degree of pressure today and we're probably just up on points as well. Australia is still dangerous. They're not the team that had five of the greatest players of all time in it, though, so they probably come back to the pack a little bit, but are still a dangerous team. We completely respect that and know if we've any chance of pulling this off then we have to play exceptionally well over the 10 days of cricket we've got."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by bumsonseats on (November 25, 2011, 19:27 GMT)

what game are the usual suspects looking at take 147 from the nz score and what u get 277 how on earth does that make their score look poor, and a little concerning. i would have thought the nz would be over the moon. years ago the a team of australia were beaing the 1st team. so much so they disbanded that format. any touring side would struggle against a aussie a side. now they are a joke just give batting/bowling practice to any touring side. last year we got what the a team would do to the england team what we get an innings defeat of the so called cream of aussie backup. dpk

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 2:38 GMT)

great to see macca get sum runs as hes a key batsmen in our line up hes as dangerous as any batsmen goin around if we r any chance in the series we need our big guns firing and hurricane hitting like that even if he doesnt score a ton will greatly benefit us

Posted by Meety on (November 25, 2011, 0:51 GMT)

@jonesy2 - spot on! However, he has dented the youngsters claims. He was hitting 6s like he was just shelling pees!

Posted by   on (November 25, 2011, 0:05 GMT)

Pay attention to McCullum Aus selectors. Play both Pattinson and Cutting in the 1st test along with Copeland.

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 24, 2011, 14:01 GMT)

very well played from mccullum against a very good bowling attack, take brendan's score out of it and its a little concerning for NZ though.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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