Numbers Don't Lie February 8, 2016

A power-hitter who empowered his players

Brendon McCullum was a match-turner as batsman and captain in limited-overs cricket

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Brendon McCullum leaves the international arena at the end of the New Zealand summer. His impact in limited-overs cricket in particular, both as batsman and captain, has been remarkable in recent years. As he plays his last ODI in Hamilton, we examine a career that produced some incredible highs.

  • McCullum's strike rate of 152.16 since 2012 is the highest for all ODI openers in this period*
  • He has contributed nearly 61% of team runs till the point of his dismissal since 2012
  • Under his captaincy, key batsmen like Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill have all averaged nearly 50 in ODIs

* These numbers are up to date till the first ODI in the ongoing New Zealand-Australia ODI series

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Gary on February 8, 2016, 16:48 GMT

    ADI JAZZ ON FEBRUARY 8, 2016, 5:55 GMT - nope. NZ conditions are difficult to bat in. The ball swings a lot and pitches can be deceptively quick. It always interests me that touring fans comment on the 'mickey mouse' grounds that NZ have due to shorter boundaries and yet scores in ODI's and T20's in NZ are no higher than matches played elsewhere in the world. You don't see people running Murali's record down because he played on spin friendly sub-continent pitches? Baz has proven himself everywhere - on hard bouncy tracks in AUS and SA, spin minefields in UAE and the sub-continent and swing beasts in England. He has been magnificent for New Zealand cricket - true fans will miss him.

  • Lalith on February 8, 2016, 11:04 GMT

    It is wonderful to see Baz finished his career at my previous home ground in Hamilton with a series win against world champion. I like to see him in playing T20 tournaments around the world. His contribution was the main factor for Black Caps to win the series.

  • Vinod on February 8, 2016, 10:34 GMT

    @ LACHLAN DRUMMOND ON FEBRUARY 8, 2016, 10:14 GMT - good call m8- yep those you mentioned along with Imran, Kapil, Ranatunga,Saurav, Hadlee and a few more were true game changers and with that the perception of how others saw their countries and the way the played...Baz was definately high up in that list....pure stats donot convey, but the way he played, the way he dived around...simply magnificient...and yes-as you mentioned-he brought out the best in a limited pool, the say way as he excelled within his limitations...what a player..played hard, played fair with dignity...go well Baz...all the best for the future from your indian fan

  •   Lachlan Drummond on February 8, 2016, 10:14 GMT

    Not many players can claim that they changed the way their country played cricket. Gavaskar can, Clive Lloyd can, Steve Waugh can. So can Brendan McCullum - he had the foresight to see that New Zealand's best hope to be competitive with a limited talent pool was through full throttle aggression and confidence. As an Aussie it has been great to see so many competitive games between us and the Kiwis. It's also been great to see so much talent coming out of that country.

  •   Nazir Ally on February 8, 2016, 9:10 GMT

    which record was broken on that ground adi and imrann?? it was not esy for batsmen. though they get deceived by the small boundaries. 300 only 7 times. with our explosiv batsmen

  • Shane on February 8, 2016, 9:08 GMT

    I can see the inevitable denigration of McCullum starting already. The reality is that his ODI average will never be a fair reflection on his contribution. He spent much of his career batting low down, expected to get some quick runs at the end, which he does very well. Later in his career, he was more often than not coming in at five with 200+ runs on the board and 10-15 overs left, because of the incredible consistency of KW and Taylor. In this context, 30 off 15 balls is just what the team needs. In any case, I expect the SC trolls to go to town as they always do when someone retires, but we will always come back to the astonishing nature of his destructions of India, SL, and Pakistan, along with all other cricketing nations throughout his career. Well played Baz, you're genuinely one of our greatest ever.

  •   Nazir Ally on February 8, 2016, 9:07 GMT

    mc cullum has his limitations as a batsman. within these limitations he adapted the best.he used his limitations modifying it into agression he is not the type to get u 100 off 120 balls or 100 off 80 ball. he brought that aggressiv trend in new zealand. his captaicy was full of agressiv new ideas.his explosiv starts means by 10 overs the rate is very good. remember his first ipl match??/ i wish he played t20 world cup though.

  • ESPN on February 8, 2016, 8:44 GMT

    You can discuss Baz's as non supporters, and argue over his impact, but as a NZ supporter for 40 years of watching, his contribution to our cricket team has been immeasurable, and extends far, far beyond his numbers

  •   Ahamed Imran on February 8, 2016, 8:37 GMT

    FKJVMMP - Even I agree with ADI JAZZ. Those grounds might be good for bowlers at times but still doesn't change the fact they are too small. Even mishits go to the boundary so quickly. No wonder records are easier to break in it when a bastman is in full swing. The ICC has to seriously come up with some rule to specify a minimum size for grounds.

  •   Vishal Makhijani on February 8, 2016, 8:28 GMT

    FKJVMMP (what kind of name is this?). You don't need to reply to persons like Adi Jazz and Doganbone. A true cricket fan know who Bazz is and what are his contributions to not only New Zealand but also to the cricket world. And if numbers don't lie then numbers don't tell you the whole truth also. Average of 30 but those quick 50s or 60s or 70s in ODIs allow other batsmen to settle down and give stability to their and team's innings. And we know those 300s & 200 agst against India,195 agst Srilanka and that 200 agst Pak in Sharjah. While even Australia struggled in Sharjah. New Zealand was able to tie Test series and win ODI series under Mccullum captaincy.

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