NZ v Aus, 3rd ODI, Hamilton February 8, 2016

McCullum pleased with 'fitting' farewell

ESPNcricinfo staff

Play 04:49
'Lively, exciting, and seemingly indestructible'

New Zealand's now former ODI captain Brendon McCullum has praised his team for the way they responded to a batting collapse in the first innings and staged a 55-run win to retain the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

McCullum, playing his final ODI innings, smoked a 27-ball 47 to set New Zealand up nicely, but the hosts lost their way towards the end of the innings, losing six wickets for just 23 runs to muster a below-par 246.

If New Zealand were feeling low immediately after that slide, they certainly did not show their disappointment when they took to the field, as McCullum revealed that he had urged his players during the break to not get bogged down.

"The team performance today, especially after losing six for not many, I think lesser teams would have folded," McCullum said. "And one thing we pride ourselves on is making sure that if we are going to get beaten, we're going to make it hard for the opposition to do so.

"That was the mentality we try to take out to fielding and bowling and also just stress to the guys, it doesn't matter what we get, it's a matter of what they get. If we were capable of losing six for not many, it was a wicket that was tough to start on, so that was the message that was stressed at halftime."

McCullum's words clearly lifted the team, as excellent spells from Doug Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Corey Anderson and Matt Henry suffocated the Australia batsmen on a slow pitch, and New Zealand bundled their opponents out for 191 inside 44 overs. McCullum, who now has just two more Tests left in him before he quits internationals all together, could not think of a better way of signing off from limited-overs internationals.

"To beat the world champions in the Chappell-Hadlee series, which means so much to us, is a fitting way to step away from the game. For us to be able to still step out and beat the best team in the world is testament to the depth that we've been able to create over a period of time.

"That was a pleasing aspect of it and I thought the way the guys responded was phenomenal. Doug Bracewell, he was on the the sidelines for the last little while, and the way he came in and seized that key moment, kept it tight, started building some pressure.

"And that allowed Ish, another wonderful story of a guy who's come back in after a long time out of the side, and he bowled with confidence and he bowled beautifully. He was able to apply some pressure and get wickets.It's great when you can see guys come in and perform in pressure situations."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mike on February 10, 2016, 3:32 GMT

    McCullum stands out as a captain who has changed the culture of the New Zealand team. The team now is almost always ready to push for the win instead of the draw, and seems possessed of more backbone than in the past. When some have fallen cheaply, others have stood up and resisted - and vice versa.

    The team seems not to have the frailty they previously did. Mental toughness seems to be much more than before.

  • Gautam on February 9, 2016, 20:38 GMT

    Thank you for the entertainment Baz! A true role model. Wish my Aussie lads could pick up some grace, humility and sportsmanship from you. A true champion. Wish you all the best from Australia.

  • INDRANIL on February 9, 2016, 19:49 GMT

    Brendon McCullum marks the end of an era. I was fortunate to witness live the 1st World Cup semi-final at Eden Park Auckland on March 24, 2015 . I was one of the 41,279 official spectators. Watching McCullum bat was like being in a state of daze. He was instrumental in shaping the highest successful chase in a world cup knockout match. South Africa finished strong in a rain shortened match with 281 in 43 overs. The ever confusing Dougworth Lewis method jacked up the target for New Zealand to 299 in 43 overs. This was perhaps the most exciting live cricket knockout match ever witnessed by me and it was money's worth travelling all the way from Canada. Brendon McCullum scored 59 runs in 26 balls at strike rate of 227 and set the stage for this historic & improbable win. Not only was this a historic run chase, it put New Zealand into the World Cup final 1st time. It was the leadership by example as showcased by McCullum that gave New Zealand a date with history. Indranil Chaudhuy, Canada.

  • dinesh on February 9, 2016, 12:27 GMT

    What will happen to a bowling team if it has this Playing 11 - Gayle,Viru,Baz,AB,Gilly,Haydos,Maxwell,Dale,Johnson,Murali,Anderson

  • Wayne on February 9, 2016, 9:57 GMT

    @Downtheorder. Don't disagree with your sentiments on McCullum as he was good for their game and raised the profile of "that summer sport" in NZ. I think you are a bit harsh in saying that Australia play favorites as captain though. The t20 side has been led by either the incumbent skipper from either the test or ODI team and in more recent times Aaron Finch. Bailey has a role in the ODI squad but wouldn't necessarily be an automatic choice for t20 as others point out. Maybe it's time for a guy Dave Warner to step up? Australian captains are generally far better performed than McCullum and in regards to how he carries himself I'd rather have the ruthlessness of a Ponting, Clarke or Smith (who have all led us in the McCullum era) if I wanted to win a game rather than a nice guy award. Neither Aus or NZ has a great t20 pedigree. We of course have a number of ODI world cups to NZs 0. It's all there to build on for both sides with new captains going forward. Well done Baz for NZ anyway..

  • Brian on February 9, 2016, 9:06 GMT

    Its hard to accurately measure the value of a really good captain, but McCullum was certainly one of the very best. He can't be judged on his own performances alone, but on how he lifts others, and even the nation. As an Aussie supporter, a big WELL DONE to him for what he's done for NZ cricket, and for the way in which he carries himself. Australia could have learned a lot from his tenure, and had a successful T20 era under George Bailey who had some of Baz's qualities. Instead, Australia plays favourites...... Happy Retirement mate!

  • manish on February 9, 2016, 7:55 GMT

    Good skipper they are going to lost. Captain who encourage his men to go ahead and not only boost their energy but also keep them aware of coming difficulties. A country can pride over this sot of man. He emerged as a hero of the short format cricket who invented how to bat in this format. who one can forget his remarkable innings in T-20s. Good by

  • NAYAM on February 9, 2016, 7:39 GMT

    Brendon McCullum- a leader, an excellent athlete and ultimately an entertainer. Went away on his own terms with people saying, " Why so early?" rather than "Why so late?".

  • henry on February 9, 2016, 7:35 GMT

    Averaged 27 over his last 4 games. Very average return. Those worried about Williamson...remember they were winning under him just a couple of weeks ago.

  • JOHN on February 9, 2016, 6:18 GMT

    Quite disappointing the show of discontent by our Australians, how many matches have we seen there for taking. No point in complaining with self inflicted disappointing and poor application. Conditions were perfect, the kiwis are not that good and without best bowlers. If we must win play pre determined bang and crash type game like the NZ captain without any inhabit ions. The result will be predictable as we witnessed. It's not always pretty and picture-book but who cares as the result is satisfying. Warner, Smith, Bailey and Max should do need therapy to warrant a position in this team. It's like the game was Tanked ?????????????????