New Zealand v India, 5th ODI, Wellington January 30, 2014

Nathan McCullum aces economy test

Nathan McCullum: "Four-nil will be fantastic"

R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja haven't bowled badly this series, but Nathan McCullum has a slightly better economy-rate than both after four games against much better players of spin. He has to be doing something right.

"They (the Indians) are very different obviously. They like to attack spin bowling," Nathan said "They play against it every day of the week at home and on some tough surfaces as well. It's been a great challenge playing against India in my own backyard and on wickets that don't really turn a lot and with short boundaries as well. It's been a hell of a challenge but I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to tomorrow as well."

While McCullum has picked up just one wicket, the Indians haven't been able to get after him. The most he has gone for has been 54 runs, from 10 overs in Napier. In the fourth ODI in Hamilton where there was help for the spinners, McCullum was taken for just 44 from his full quota. He has preferred bowling from round the stumps throughout the series as he believed the fielding restrictions had made it difficult to change the angle often.

"From my point of view, the way the rules have changed, there is hardly time to bowl both sides of the wicket when there are only four men out. You have to be aggressive but also have to protect you boundaries and not just take wickets. You have to be more consistent and you can't take too many risks with what line you are bowling and you have to pick which side you going to bowl at with only four men out. You can't keep switching sides."

McCullum felt it was also tougher now for bowlers to switch between attacking and holding back, and that one needed to be consistent with the role that had been assigned.

"Again going back to the rule changes in ODIs these days, you have to have an even flow about when you are going to be aggressive and when you are going to be defensive as a bowler, not just as a spin bowler, as a quick bowler as well," he said. "So that becomes part of it when your role is aggressive or defensive, and understanding what your role is at particular times to (be able to) take up those roles"

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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