New Zealand v Australia, 2nd Test, Christchurch February 17, 2016

McCullum's final Test will be 'pretty sad' - Boult


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'Australia had the best of the conditions in Wellington' - Boult

Brendon McCullum's farewell to international cricket at the second Test in Christchurch will be a "pretty sad" moment, according to fast bowler Trent Boult, who credited McCullum with uniting the nation behind their cricket team.

There was no shortage of emotion at McCullum's 100th and penultimate Test in Wellington, but expect that only to increase when the New Zealanders walk out onto Hagley Oval on Saturday. There will be a special cap presentation to McCullum ahead of the match, although there will be no fairytale ending after Australia's victory in Wellington, which meant the best New Zealand can do is draw the series.

"I think there was a lot of emotion in this one [in Wellington] to be honest," Boult said on Wednesday. "But his last one - it's going to be pretty sad, to be honest. Everyone has played with him for that long and he's good mates with everyone in the team. We're all looking forward to running out with him for the last time.

"He's changed the game, in a way. The way the New Zealanders have got behind cricket, behind the team, is because of him and his style of play, his attacking captaincy. He's going to be sorely missed. We'll look forward to running out with him one last time and then I'm sure he's left the team in good hands."

Boult is one of the many players in the New Zealand team who has thrived under the captaincy of McCullum, rising to No.1 in the ODI rankings and currently sitting at No.8 on the ICC's Test list. He debuted in Test cricket in Australia in 2011 and a year later McCullum was named captain alongside the new coach Mike Hesson.

"You can put it down to a lot of things, but he's a true leader and everyone looks up to him in the team," Boult said of his own success. "I owe a lot to him, to be honest. He is going to be sorely missed."

New Zealand would like nothing better than to send McCullum off into retirement with a Test victory in Christchurch, where they hope they will find a greener pitch than the one that was served up at the Basin Reserve. There was some seam movement on the first morning but there was little for the rest of the Test, although Australia's fast men surprised New Zealand by finding reverse swing in the second innings.

"We didn't get it to go at all," Boult said. "They got it to go nicely. We could learn a thing or two from them in regards to if nothing is happening on a flat wicket, then how valuable reverse swing is. They did that nicely, but I'm not sure how much we'll see of that down at Hagley.

"It's not something we do often see [in New Zealand]. They got it to go nicely and it worked very effectively for them. We'll have to learn from that and understand that when things aren't happening or there's no wickets on a flat wicket, you've got to look at other measures. I think they did that very nicely. It was pretty surprising."

This will be just the second Test played at Hagley Oval, the other one in December 2014 having provided New Zealand with an eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka after the hosts put on 441 in the first innings. McCullum made 195 in that match and Boult took seven wickets, including three in the first innings when Sri Lanka were rolled for 138.

"I think the wicket here [in Wellington] was a good wicket, but as a bowler I'd love to see it a lot greener of course as well," Boult said. "That way you can get a lot more seam off the wicket. It's going to be interesting to see what we get down there [in Christchurch] but I'm sure it will have a tinge of green as well."

New Zealand will be without fast bowler Doug Bracewell at Hagley Oval, after he was ruled out with a shoulder injury. Neil Wagner and Matt Henry are both in the squad and available to be called on to replace Bracewell.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shane on February 19, 2016, 7:16 GMT

    @PAUL TUDOR - you make a valid point. Personally I felt McCullum should have been dropped from the test team around 2011 - he wasn't scoring runs and wasn't keeping any more and I felt the decision, and process, to make him captain was atrocious. But you have to give credit where it's due, and in this case it's to him and Hesson. I'll happily eat my words with the way they have turned the team around. I think McCullum has generated a lot of goodwill with the way he has led the team - not only are they respected around the world for the spirit in which they play, they are also exciting to watch, and have been successful to a level without precedent, at least in my 25 years of watching them. That's no mean feat. I don't think anyone would seriously claim he's perfect, or infallible, least of all the man himself. But this is the time to celebrate the huge contribution he has made to putting our cricket back on the map. Personally, I salute and thank him.

  •   Paul Tudor on February 19, 2016, 2:02 GMT

    It would be nice if we could get some balance here - yes, he has been one of our greats, but some of his mistakes and controversies surrounding him have been conveniently overlooked. Perhaps a sign of how player power is now the dominant force in NZ cricket - he was at the forefront of this coming to pass - whether you think that is good or not.

  •   Niraj Bahuguni on February 19, 2016, 1:44 GMT

    There is no printing mistake about debut of McCullum at all. That debut relates to Trent Boult. There is no point in criticizing at the batting average of McCullum. He has anyhow won a lot of matches for New Zealand by his aggressive batting. Brendon McCullum's contribution to New Zealand cricket team simply can't be expressed in words.

  • bishwajeet on February 18, 2016, 22:33 GMT

    If there is one kiwi m gonna miss the most den its bmac :-( eagerly waiting for u 2 perform in the ipl ,lots of respect and well wishes from india

  • Jay on February 18, 2016, 19:02 GMT

    I think McCullum will be more remembered for his character than his batting average. He led NZ cricket through a period of turmoil and turned them from an average outfit to a top contender in international cricket. So for that, he has my respect.

  • Peter on February 18, 2016, 16:29 GMT

    Gilchrist - now there's a legend - a genuine one

  • gokul on February 18, 2016, 16:28 GMT

    With his agressive captaincy, he made test matches exciting again. No other modern captain could do that. What cricket will miss the most will not be the most attacking batsman or the most athletic fielder but the most aggressive captain. Brendan, please continue to enthrall your fans in T20 leagues around the world.

  • carl on February 18, 2016, 10:23 GMT

    Do any of you Kiwi guys think the Cairns saga drained him a bit? Surely that circus would have been tough to handle.

  • Ryan on February 18, 2016, 8:29 GMT

    What's with all the trolls? Show some respect for a guy who changed cricket in our country. Obviously you people don't get how bad a state cricket was in when he began his captaincy tenure.

  • Muthukrishnan on February 18, 2016, 4:09 GMT

    Indeed changed lot of ways., agression in batting played with right spirit.. Baz might not become legend but he won lot of fans arond the globe.. Remember you as agressor and great sportman in the modern cricket era

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