New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, 4th day February 17, 2014

McCullum battles, and triumphs over, his essence

For a batsman whose game is built on brutality, Brendon McCullum's double-hundred against India has been an essay in renunciation and grit
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You are your biggest enemy. You are also your biggest friend. And when you have won the battle with yourself, there is little that can stop you.

Brendon McCullum is a man whose batting has been built around the belief that cricket balls are flies to be swatted away with disproportionate brutality. For nearly two days at the Basin Reserve, he has battled this belief. He has battled what he has stood for, and what the world has known him for. He has overcome his own essence.

What it must have cost the man we will never be able to tell. For how many of us can say we have militated against our own nature and succeeded?

In overcoming his mind, he has also had to fight his creaking body, battered so much over his career that it is much older than his 32 years. He makes double-centuries, comes back to field at cover, chases balls like a terrier and dives into advertising boards at the boundary, without a care, to save a single run.

After the day's play, McCullum said that he had scraped through the final hour in a daze. Had he not told us, we would never have known. For McCullum would not let us in on the pain and self-denial while batting. Yes, he had taken treatment for his back during the day, and also had a sore shoulder. BJ Watling said his captain was carrying plenty of niggles. From the outside, however, all you could see was a captain, on 277, running hard in his twelfth hour of batting for a third run from Jimmy Neesham's bat.

Over those 12 hours, McCullum had taken denial to another level.

Sachin Tendulkar rightfully got the accolades for putting away the cover drive during his unbeaten double-hundred in Sydney in 2004. Tendulkar knew he had been getting out to that stroke, and just excluded that particular risk over a long innings.

McCullum's entire game is risky. And he rightfully gets flak for often throwing it away needlessly in trying to beat the ball to pulp. At times, the flak is uncharitable. As McCullum has gone about losing every toss this series, some have said he is not even doing the only thing he can be expected to do.

Forget the detractors, even his staunchest supporters would not have expected this kind of innings from McCullum. The Auckland double was different. India helpfully lost their lines and lengths after having New Zealand 30 for 3 and McCullum is not one to let short and wide go unpunished.

India were not giving an inch this time. Those two dropped chances will be forever associated with this innings, but had they not happened, the world would have never discovered that McCullum was capable of such renunciation for so long. There was little else.

The Indians wanted him to play strokes, as would any side. He was tempted. He was squeezed. He was set conventional and unconventional fields. He did not yield. There were plays-and-misses, you would be beaten a few times if you batted for 726 minutes. But they were the exceptions, against the run of play. He did indulge himself, and the strokes became more frequent after the first few hours, but he was never reckless.

This wasn't the McCullum we have known, resisting by attacking as hard as he can. This was a captain missing his best batsman, having lost half his side and still needing 153 to make the opposition bat again. This was a captain who did not want to let his side's glorious summer be scarred by a meltdown in the final game.

This was a captain prepared to do anything, even rebel against his own character as a batsman.

How many times must he have felt like having a whack at the spinner. How many times must he have felt like letting himself have one, just one, heave against the quicks. But the image that stays behind is of McCullum jerking his bat skywards to let one more pass outside off. Of jumping across, getting behind the line of another lifter and dead-batting it.

Virender Sehwag, a batsman similar in intent to McCullum, made two Test triple hundreds staying true to his aggression. Imagine Sehwag restraining himself to a triple. History will, of course, accord McCullum's innings the place it deserves. It is perhaps no coincidence that he ended the day unbeaten on 281, a number that - thanks to VVS Laxman - is forever associated with the impossible being achieved on a cricket field.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    Dear friends, any cricket playing country desperate to win matches, call Indian team and win all series with clean sweep, be it test series, one day series or 20-20 series. Go fast. start booking immediately.

  • POSTED BY SixFourOut on | February 18, 2014, 3:21 GMT

    As an Australian first and cricket fan second, I still can't help but think this is one of the best, if not the best innings I have ever seen. NZ were 100/5 staring down what I thought was an inevitable defeat, but what an innings. Maybe he really is turning a corner and if so, the kiwis will rise in those rankings.

    Anderson has done little to show that he is a test cricketer, Rutherford looks way out of his depth and Fulton is just a walking wicket.

    Honestly, if you're intent on playing a dasher opener, play Ryder and bring in Guptill. Those two are your best combination.

    Why hasn't Munro been picked, he is the best batsmen in NZ's domestic competition?

    Sit out Wagner and Anderson and bring in Munro and Henry, the best bat and ball from the domestic comp.

    Anderson is a good one day player, potentially the best, but not a test player yet by any stats, measure or proof.

    Munro averages nearly 47 in domestic comp, doesn't that deserve a shot?

    If not, then why?

  • POSTED BY Dinkepo on | February 18, 2014, 3:21 GMT

    Don't worry dudes,MSD and BCCI knows about poor indian fans are just shown their feeling later once IPL start everyone forget this things so that we may expect samething will happened for few years but don't forget MSD will be made world record for Capatain of more test loss!

  • POSTED BY Kabeer18 on | February 18, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    I believe Mccullum is not good as a player to get a double hundred in Test Matches but he has got one double and a triple hundred in this series and believe me he won't get a double hundred or even 150+ after this. Nowadays games get fixed easily so Indian team are dropping catches so that New Zealand stakes go up. I often see team losing from winning position or get a draw if playing test matches. England lost it when they require 20 out of 16 balls in Champions Trophy. Faulkner made 30 off Ishant over to get a win for Australia. And In match between South Africa and Pakistan, South Africa lost it when they only require 34 out of 36 deliveries and in the same way when New Zealand arrived in India in 2012 when India need 40 runs out of 36 balls and with 8 wickets remaining and we have Yuvraj and Dhoni on crease they lost it by 1 run from that position. Earlier any team finish the match with overs to spare India extend the match to last ball so that people bet high on India and to lose

  • POSTED BY AnupamRaj on | February 18, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    Always been a fan of Brendon McCullum. He's a special player. But him playing such gems against us.. :( Being an Indian, still somehow i am feeling a bit happy that he got a Triple hundred.

  • POSTED BY cruisecontrol on | February 18, 2014, 2:01 GMT

    Ah, I forgot to add one key comment to my previous one regarding the support of expats. Come 2015, I'd be happy to support dear, dear Ireland or the Kiwis!

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2014, 1:58 GMT

    This is a wicked article. It really captures what is so amazing about the innings McCullum played. Everyone New Zealand fan knows McCullum has the potential to destroy anything. He plays some of the most sublime shots, and at the same time can do some of the most unbelievably painful things when a game sits in the balance, or patience is needed.

    But the length of this innings was just astounding. Like Ross Taylor has done away with cow corner and focussed on playing in the V (and his performances while not as brutal have improved dramatically), it was simply just lovely to watch a man we all associate with brutality shelve everything that makes us both love and hate him, and carry his team towards avoiding what was a certain loss.

    Inspiring.

  • POSTED BY MeijiMura on | February 18, 2014, 1:39 GMT

    A truly amazing performance by McCullum in making 302 and becoming the first Kiwi to make a Test triple ton. Of course he was dropped on 9 by Kohli so it goes down as one of the most expensive dropped catches in the history of Test Cricket. That chance along with Murali Vijay's drop of Kane Williamson in the first innings of the 1st Test turned a 2-0 series victory to India into a 0-1 series loss. Both chances were straightforward and should have been taken at grade cricket level yet alone international level, but that's life. India have had their chances both in South Africa and New Zealand and they've failed to take them. The England and Australia series give them a chance for redemption, but will their fielding be up to it?

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Wonderful innings!!! McCullum proved by example to be a great leader. When NZ were 94 for 5, India had a golden chance to rip them off. When they lost their best batsman, having lost half their side and still needing 153 to make India bat again, it was McCullum who as a captain, battled for over 160 overs for the sixth wicket partnership of 352 runs with Watling to take the score to 446 for 6. In his 726 minutes of batting, McCullum scored 302 runs in 559 balls with 32 fours and 4 sixes, with an avg of 54.02 ------------------------------------On Day 5 - Score: New Zealand 192 and 680 for 8 declared; India 438 and 20 for 2 (9 overs, target: 435)

  • POSTED BY Morgan78 on | February 18, 2014, 1:04 GMT

    Gread read Mr Purohit. I think a little artistic licence has been taken as I recall Bmac squirting from 50 to 100 runs at a run a ball and getting there wth a 6! I certainly agree with the thrust of your article though.

    Fantastic knock from McCullum and most likely a very fitting end to a great summers cricket from the NZ team.

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    Dear friends, any cricket playing country desperate to win matches, call Indian team and win all series with clean sweep, be it test series, one day series or 20-20 series. Go fast. start booking immediately.

  • POSTED BY SixFourOut on | February 18, 2014, 3:21 GMT

    As an Australian first and cricket fan second, I still can't help but think this is one of the best, if not the best innings I have ever seen. NZ were 100/5 staring down what I thought was an inevitable defeat, but what an innings. Maybe he really is turning a corner and if so, the kiwis will rise in those rankings.

    Anderson has done little to show that he is a test cricketer, Rutherford looks way out of his depth and Fulton is just a walking wicket.

    Honestly, if you're intent on playing a dasher opener, play Ryder and bring in Guptill. Those two are your best combination.

    Why hasn't Munro been picked, he is the best batsmen in NZ's domestic competition?

    Sit out Wagner and Anderson and bring in Munro and Henry, the best bat and ball from the domestic comp.

    Anderson is a good one day player, potentially the best, but not a test player yet by any stats, measure or proof.

    Munro averages nearly 47 in domestic comp, doesn't that deserve a shot?

    If not, then why?

  • POSTED BY Dinkepo on | February 18, 2014, 3:21 GMT

    Don't worry dudes,MSD and BCCI knows about poor indian fans are just shown their feeling later once IPL start everyone forget this things so that we may expect samething will happened for few years but don't forget MSD will be made world record for Capatain of more test loss!

  • POSTED BY Kabeer18 on | February 18, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    I believe Mccullum is not good as a player to get a double hundred in Test Matches but he has got one double and a triple hundred in this series and believe me he won't get a double hundred or even 150+ after this. Nowadays games get fixed easily so Indian team are dropping catches so that New Zealand stakes go up. I often see team losing from winning position or get a draw if playing test matches. England lost it when they require 20 out of 16 balls in Champions Trophy. Faulkner made 30 off Ishant over to get a win for Australia. And In match between South Africa and Pakistan, South Africa lost it when they only require 34 out of 36 deliveries and in the same way when New Zealand arrived in India in 2012 when India need 40 runs out of 36 balls and with 8 wickets remaining and we have Yuvraj and Dhoni on crease they lost it by 1 run from that position. Earlier any team finish the match with overs to spare India extend the match to last ball so that people bet high on India and to lose

  • POSTED BY AnupamRaj on | February 18, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    Always been a fan of Brendon McCullum. He's a special player. But him playing such gems against us.. :( Being an Indian, still somehow i am feeling a bit happy that he got a Triple hundred.

  • POSTED BY cruisecontrol on | February 18, 2014, 2:01 GMT

    Ah, I forgot to add one key comment to my previous one regarding the support of expats. Come 2015, I'd be happy to support dear, dear Ireland or the Kiwis!

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2014, 1:58 GMT

    This is a wicked article. It really captures what is so amazing about the innings McCullum played. Everyone New Zealand fan knows McCullum has the potential to destroy anything. He plays some of the most sublime shots, and at the same time can do some of the most unbelievably painful things when a game sits in the balance, or patience is needed.

    But the length of this innings was just astounding. Like Ross Taylor has done away with cow corner and focussed on playing in the V (and his performances while not as brutal have improved dramatically), it was simply just lovely to watch a man we all associate with brutality shelve everything that makes us both love and hate him, and carry his team towards avoiding what was a certain loss.

    Inspiring.

  • POSTED BY MeijiMura on | February 18, 2014, 1:39 GMT

    A truly amazing performance by McCullum in making 302 and becoming the first Kiwi to make a Test triple ton. Of course he was dropped on 9 by Kohli so it goes down as one of the most expensive dropped catches in the history of Test Cricket. That chance along with Murali Vijay's drop of Kane Williamson in the first innings of the 1st Test turned a 2-0 series victory to India into a 0-1 series loss. Both chances were straightforward and should have been taken at grade cricket level yet alone international level, but that's life. India have had their chances both in South Africa and New Zealand and they've failed to take them. The England and Australia series give them a chance for redemption, but will their fielding be up to it?

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Wonderful innings!!! McCullum proved by example to be a great leader. When NZ were 94 for 5, India had a golden chance to rip them off. When they lost their best batsman, having lost half their side and still needing 153 to make India bat again, it was McCullum who as a captain, battled for over 160 overs for the sixth wicket partnership of 352 runs with Watling to take the score to 446 for 6. In his 726 minutes of batting, McCullum scored 302 runs in 559 balls with 32 fours and 4 sixes, with an avg of 54.02 ------------------------------------On Day 5 - Score: New Zealand 192 and 680 for 8 declared; India 438 and 20 for 2 (9 overs, target: 435)

  • POSTED BY Morgan78 on | February 18, 2014, 1:04 GMT

    Gread read Mr Purohit. I think a little artistic licence has been taken as I recall Bmac squirting from 50 to 100 runs at a run a ball and getting there wth a 6! I certainly agree with the thrust of your article though.

    Fantastic knock from McCullum and most likely a very fitting end to a great summers cricket from the NZ team.

  • POSTED BY cruisecontrol on | February 18, 2014, 0:15 GMT

    Congrats to BB, who showed quite some mettle. As for Dhoni, he must stop rolling the dice. Indian administrators (include selectors in that gang) are bad capitalists. [Yes, you could win contracts and grow your business - cement or petro - by dollying up to the pols but you can't win cricket matches]. So, the selectors must detach from the bad capitalists who run the game. Dhoni must groom Kohli (or choose another) and pull away from Test captaincy urgently.

    Dhoni plays an intuitive game obsessively, persistently - despite the evidence going against him in Test matches. This has gone on far too long. A lot of chance. A lot of astrology. A lot of embarrassing (misplaced) gumption. Unbound pretense and superficiality. In short, no substance and no style.

    Will Ishant Sharma get a haircut now, please? I don't want to state any more of the obvious stuff.

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    @Nampally - Thats just a bunch of hypothetical 'what-ifs'. Thats just like me saying "What if Corey Anderson didn't get out to Jadeja, he would've got a hundred with Watling"

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | February 17, 2014, 19:52 GMT

    When NZ were 94 for 5 India had a golden chance to finish them off. Had 2 of the McCullum's chances were taken & those offered by Walting, an innings victory was in sight. Dhoni already blundered by going in to a 5 day test match with just 3 specialist bowlers. He would have nearly got away with it with an easy win had catches been taken. But matches are not just black & white. A Captain has to allow for contingency & go with the assumption that if the match goes for long, he has to have enough bowlers. Dhoni known for his tunnel vision & seat of the pants decisions goofed up once again. McCullum, Walting & Neesham really took full advantage & made India pay for their errors in terms of blood, sweat & Tears! What a sorry tale this presents in terms of "If only I had taken those chances!". But Dhoni will never blame himself by saying "If only had one more specialist bowler". This is because in his naivity he believes he is right in playing with 3 specialist Bowlers - sad Captaincy case!

  • POSTED BY jimmyvida on | February 17, 2014, 19:21 GMT

    What if Brendon sticks around and scores 400 and then declares. Then maybe get 4 or 5 Indian wickets for 60.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | February 17, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    well done captain .this will go down in the folklore of NZ cricket for the ultimate fighting spirit , taking so much of pain and bravado .u r real team man and leader of men .dhoni and boys pls learn something from this , but I know u r already counting the cheap money of IPL and nothing will go in ur head

  • POSTED BY OldCricketer on | February 17, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    Well done Mac!! No need to declare at this time. The series is already won by New Zealand. I still do not understand why India played three pace bowlers instead of four. They have a real quick bowler and he is sitting in the pavilion.

  • POSTED BY Akhter786 on | February 17, 2014, 15:33 GMT

    McCullum Baz.. Please on this good earth don't declare, do not try to be a captain who takes risks for team's cause tomorrow. Just curb that temptation this one last time. Plz plz plz donot declare too early. Remember what Pakistan did to SL some days ago. India is a far superior batting team than them.

    But WHAT A KNOCK... B E A Utifulll....

    It is... It is.... It is.... It is beyond words....

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | February 17, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    Baz has the series 1-0, on a flat pitch why declare. Just bat and take it 1-0. For INdia if they get to bat early in the day, should go for it, else no point in playign for a draw as they would anyway loose the series.

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    First things first. Absolutely great show by Mac! I am an ardent Indian fan. But, I salute him for what he did for his team, curbing his natural instincts and playing with all the aches & pains. Marvellous!

    He deserves a triple. It is not often one gets it. Half an hour would not make much of a difference for India's chances; one way or the other. Looking at the way the pitch is behaving, draw is the most likely chance.

    I feel grateful to Mac for conducting a free 2-day workshop for the Indian batsmen and Indian cricket admin.

    BATSMEN: The current top six is good; but not great, yet! All of them got a solid lesson in batting in TESTS. Except Rahane; who may not need it. Everyone else needs. Badly!

    ADMINS: Lesson is even bigger. India just don't have a set of bowlers to get 20 wickets, WITHOUT assistance from the pitch. Do something. Anything!

    After India, I am fond of WI & NZ. Delighted to see that NZ got the core; young talented players & a good Captain. Hope, WI does it too!

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | February 17, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Mccullum,please for once,listen to us! Don't declare at this stage.Complete your triple and make us proud.Try to score as big as you can.Please!!!

  • POSTED BY bobbo2 on | February 17, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Wonderful innings. McCullum is a great leader and the team is following him. Supporting NZ can be hard at times but there is nothing like it when we pull something out of the hat like this. Go and make your 300 tomorrow! I usually want an attacking declaration but to get this close to a series win from an impossible position cannot be wasted and I would prefer they get 400 plus if possible.

  • POSTED BY debiprasad393 on | February 17, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    The best fighting innings I have ever seen from a Captain...Well Done Mac..go on and brake all d records...Respect and Support both for u nd salute to this awesome innings.From an Indian

  • POSTED BY espncricdiehrtfan on | February 17, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    great inning by Brendon, nd walting too. I dont know y this happeninh always with india, how we forget akmal, razzaq match saving inning, and recentlh dev nd duplisis, is indian bowlers are really low grade or some captaincy errors are also reponsible. No wonder brendon wil try to complete hiis 300 nd set the today 350+ in 80 overs, what wil india should do? Try to save match or play like misbah & co against srilankans, indian cricket team is lose everything, atleast they shoul won this match for pride..

  • POSTED BY DJRNZ on | February 17, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    We all knew he has this in him which is why he is so frustrating. Such a brilliant cricketer but for me it is a shame has has taken over 10 years to get to ths stage. I just hope his body holds up as it looks like he has turned a massive corner in terms of his test batting. What an amazing effort, tell me - Which Kiwi batsmen in the last 10 - 15 years has played a more brilliant innings - considering where were looking at a massive defeat and in that he could reach 300! For a guy as aggressive this is am amazing innings! Really hope he gets to 300 and beyond!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    I am a great fan of bazz( i am not saying this bcoz he scored this much run). I was really frustrated to see indian crossing over 400 and KIwi's batsman returning to pavallion for so cheap. When kane was caught behind my. I said to myself ohh taylor only remaining and then realized taylor was on leave .After 3 down my hope was broken into pieces. Being a great fan of him also i thought he will score 20 or 30 and will throw his wicket . When he was dropped for 9 i just cruised him and asked why mccullum u always do this (throwing wicket for a loose ball ). after that i thought now after getting life from kohli he should score 50 plus minimum. I promised myself that,i will close TV and wont watch this match after bazz dismissial. But after that bazz changed his mood and switched to rahul dravid mood. I was really surprised to saw that kind of mccullum. He leaved ball which was outside off pitched and always aimed to play with straight bat.And we have the result behind us.bazzrocks:

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | February 17, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    Well Done Mac !! Now all you need to do is play time and this series is yours !! Please for heaven's sake, don't declare !!! Have done enough to make this innings a classic !! Don't try to do anything adventurous !!

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  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | February 17, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    Well Done Mac !! Now all you need to do is play time and this series is yours !! Please for heaven's sake, don't declare !!! Have done enough to make this innings a classic !! Don't try to do anything adventurous !!

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    I am a great fan of bazz( i am not saying this bcoz he scored this much run). I was really frustrated to see indian crossing over 400 and KIwi's batsman returning to pavallion for so cheap. When kane was caught behind my. I said to myself ohh taylor only remaining and then realized taylor was on leave .After 3 down my hope was broken into pieces. Being a great fan of him also i thought he will score 20 or 30 and will throw his wicket . When he was dropped for 9 i just cruised him and asked why mccullum u always do this (throwing wicket for a loose ball ). after that i thought now after getting life from kohli he should score 50 plus minimum. I promised myself that,i will close TV and wont watch this match after bazz dismissial. But after that bazz changed his mood and switched to rahul dravid mood. I was really surprised to saw that kind of mccullum. He leaved ball which was outside off pitched and always aimed to play with straight bat.And we have the result behind us.bazzrocks:

  • POSTED BY DJRNZ on | February 17, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    We all knew he has this in him which is why he is so frustrating. Such a brilliant cricketer but for me it is a shame has has taken over 10 years to get to ths stage. I just hope his body holds up as it looks like he has turned a massive corner in terms of his test batting. What an amazing effort, tell me - Which Kiwi batsmen in the last 10 - 15 years has played a more brilliant innings - considering where were looking at a massive defeat and in that he could reach 300! For a guy as aggressive this is am amazing innings! Really hope he gets to 300 and beyond!!!

  • POSTED BY espncricdiehrtfan on | February 17, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    great inning by Brendon, nd walting too. I dont know y this happeninh always with india, how we forget akmal, razzaq match saving inning, and recentlh dev nd duplisis, is indian bowlers are really low grade or some captaincy errors are also reponsible. No wonder brendon wil try to complete hiis 300 nd set the today 350+ in 80 overs, what wil india should do? Try to save match or play like misbah & co against srilankans, indian cricket team is lose everything, atleast they shoul won this match for pride..

  • POSTED BY debiprasad393 on | February 17, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    The best fighting innings I have ever seen from a Captain...Well Done Mac..go on and brake all d records...Respect and Support both for u nd salute to this awesome innings.From an Indian

  • POSTED BY bobbo2 on | February 17, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Wonderful innings. McCullum is a great leader and the team is following him. Supporting NZ can be hard at times but there is nothing like it when we pull something out of the hat like this. Go and make your 300 tomorrow! I usually want an attacking declaration but to get this close to a series win from an impossible position cannot be wasted and I would prefer they get 400 plus if possible.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | February 17, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Mccullum,please for once,listen to us! Don't declare at this stage.Complete your triple and make us proud.Try to score as big as you can.Please!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    First things first. Absolutely great show by Mac! I am an ardent Indian fan. But, I salute him for what he did for his team, curbing his natural instincts and playing with all the aches & pains. Marvellous!

    He deserves a triple. It is not often one gets it. Half an hour would not make much of a difference for India's chances; one way or the other. Looking at the way the pitch is behaving, draw is the most likely chance.

    I feel grateful to Mac for conducting a free 2-day workshop for the Indian batsmen and Indian cricket admin.

    BATSMEN: The current top six is good; but not great, yet! All of them got a solid lesson in batting in TESTS. Except Rahane; who may not need it. Everyone else needs. Badly!

    ADMINS: Lesson is even bigger. India just don't have a set of bowlers to get 20 wickets, WITHOUT assistance from the pitch. Do something. Anything!

    After India, I am fond of WI & NZ. Delighted to see that NZ got the core; young talented players & a good Captain. Hope, WI does it too!

  • POSTED BY CricketMaan on | February 17, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    Baz has the series 1-0, on a flat pitch why declare. Just bat and take it 1-0. For INdia if they get to bat early in the day, should go for it, else no point in playign for a draw as they would anyway loose the series.

  • POSTED BY Akhter786 on | February 17, 2014, 15:33 GMT

    McCullum Baz.. Please on this good earth don't declare, do not try to be a captain who takes risks for team's cause tomorrow. Just curb that temptation this one last time. Plz plz plz donot declare too early. Remember what Pakistan did to SL some days ago. India is a far superior batting team than them.

    But WHAT A KNOCK... B E A Utifulll....

    It is... It is.... It is.... It is beyond words....