McCullum aims to be world's best keeper-batsman
Brendon McCullum is looking forward to more opportunities to bat up the order in Tests as he sets his sights on becoming the world's best wicketkeeper-batsman. McCullum has been pencilled in for the No. 5 spot on the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, having filled that same role in the recent series in England.
Prior to that McCullum was typically used at No. 7, but New Zealand's relatively inexperienced batting line-up means he will become a more important middle-order man in the next few years. The captain Daniel Vettori has supported McCullum's desire to settle at No. 5 in Bangladesh, in a middle order likely to feature the uncapped Jesse Ryder.
"Dan knows what I'm trying to do in the game and my motives for doing it," McCullum told the New Zealand Herald. "I want to be the best batsman-keeper in the world and by moving up the order it gives me a greater opportunity to do so, and to make a contribution to my team."
He will be hoping for big runs in next month's two-Test series in Bangladesh, where he made his maiden Test century four years ago. New Zealand's squad was departing on Tuesday and McCullum said having a couple of months off following the England tour was ideal.
"I think sometimes when you're continually playing, or on a playing-training regime, you lose a bit of focus in terms of what you're trying to achieve," McCullum said. "So the time out was great from that perspective. It freshened the body and mind and gave a bit more clarity."
The Bangladesh trip will act in part as preparation for New Zealand's Test series against Australia in November. McCullum said entering the Bangladesh series as favourites was a situation not terribly familiar to New Zealand and they needed to embrace the opportunity.
"If we want to get to the point we want to, which is to be the best team in the world, we have to start playing as frontrunners, and that's a challenge this series presents," he said. "This is a pretty good lead-in to a great summer and we've got to make sure we do the job clinically."