New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, 5th day

'I feel a little bit embarrassed'

Brendon McCullum, who became the first New Zealand batsman to make a Test triple-hundred, reflects on the historic innings during his post-match presser

Abhishek Purohit in Wellington

February 18, 2014

Comments: 55 | Text size: A | A
'Watling's ton a testament of his character' - McCullum

Brendon McCullum became the first New Zealand batsman to score a triple-century, New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, 5th day, February 18, 2014
'There was no tear in my eye. I am from South Dunedin.' © AFP

Talk about that dream run. What was that?

It was what was required. That is what it was. We were obviously scrapping to save the Test and therefore win the series. We managed to get some partnerships under pressure and then kept batting and batting and batting. So yeah it was pretty satisfying to get us out of trouble and claim the series win.

How big was it for New Zealand to have somebody in the 300 club and for you to get there in these circumstances?

Without being disrespectful I probably didn't know the magnitude of it until the last 24 hours. I grew up and watched the New Zealand cricket team for years on end. I saw Martin Crowe score his 299 and thought it would have been an amazing feat if he scored 300 but probably didn't quite understand how much it meant to the whole country who support this team and the media and support that has started to gain momentum last night and this morning with everyone willing a New Zealander to finally break that 300 barrier. And Martin as well. His thoughts on it too.

I saw him this morning on the breakfast show and he was discussing how significant it would be. I guess that was one of the things that made me realise how big a moment it was. I also spoke to Stephen Fleming last night and he also said the same thing and those are the two guys who sat at 1 and 2 on the table. I feel a little bit embarrassed because I'm not anywhere near the calibre of players that those two in particular are but I think in terms of New Zealand cricket and moving forward for this team, we have finally broken that 300 barrier and hopefully some of these guys in the years to come will continue to break that barrier.

Martin Crowe had said in an interview long ago that he got a little ahead of himself on 299 and started to think about what will happen and the adulation. Did you at any point during those last 19 runs get ahead of yourself?

I definitely wanted to get 300 so I guess I was thinking in front of myself. That was one thing I tried to do this summer is just play that moment and worry about that ball. If you get beaten or if you play a good shot you don't get too high or too low, you move onto the next one and try and get though that simple sequence. After the first couple of runs today when I started feeling a little bit nervous which isn't always normal, one of the things I had to tell myself was get back to the simple things that work and give the ball as much respect as it deserves.

How were you feeling this morning when you got up and walked through the gate to go out? Were there nerves or were you feeling good?

I wasn't too bad till I saw the size of the crowd. Every ball that I defended, left or got a single they would start cheering and it made me a little bit more nervous to be honest. That's probably when I understood the magnitude of the task and how much joy it gives fans of this cricket team to see guys succeed and see records broken. It was the moment when 300 came up and the applause was ongoing for quite a while is really when it hit home to me that it was quite a significant achievement for a New Zealander and one I'll certainly remember for the rest of my life.

I saw Martin Crowe score his 299 and thought it would have been an amazing feat if he scored 300 but probably didn't quite understand how much it meant to the whole country who support this team

Can you talk us through the emotions you experienced?

I have never experienced anything like that. That's something I'll hold onto for the rest of my life. All the tough times and tough periods you go through when you're out of form at times and you're just trying to keep the faith in what you're trying to achieve. You just know there are plenty of good people out there who are backing you as well. At that moment I guess I realised how much satisfaction you can bring people from the way you achieve stuff and that certainly gave me a lot of good feelings.

How did you channel your emotions through that entire experience?

Sometimes good and sometimes not so good. Thankfully I had partners at the other end who played some brilliant innings. I thought both BJ (Watling) and (James Neesham) Neesh, their innings were outstanding. BJ's in particular because he came in when were five for 90 (odd) and coming off a duck as well. To play an innings like that is testament to how strong a character he is. Then Neesh in his first Test match with the game still reasonably poised, to come out and play his natural game, which is aggressive, takes a lot of courage so I was pretty lucky to have those guys there.

Then I had to try and fight the emotion that I want to hit the ball a bit harder than what I was trying to and make sure that the team goal was first and foremost.

Were there tears in your eyes?

No tear in the eye. I'm from South Dunedin.

There were a few doubts about your back. How did you get through this Test series physically?

I don't know really. The back situation is just going to be there for the rest of my career and there will be times when it flares up and it becomes pretty tough to handle. I've got to make sure along with the coaching and support staff that we manage my workload and manage my training regime as well to ensure that I can go out there and perform without it being too much of a hindrance.

There were times during the summer that it wasn't as good as what it should be but it was a major step in the right direction from Bangladesh where it was pretty bad and brought some dark thoughts. Things are feeling okay at the moment so we'll have to wait and see what the next few months involve.

Brendon McCullum gestures to the crowd after the Test, New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, Wellington, 5th day, February 18, 2014
'Every ball that I defended, left or got a single the crowd would start cheering and it made me a little bit more nervous to be honest' © Getty Images

How much do you think the captaincy has contributed to this change in batting approach?

You want to lead from the front as captain and I haven't always done that. That's what the desire is and I hope that's what I'm starting to do. The hardest time to captain the team is when you're not scoring runs and that's when your character and the kind of person and leader you are outweighs your own form. The team needs the captain to be a strong person who enjoys other people's success and sees the bigger picture. That's what I tried to do when I wasn't scoring many runs, knowing that if I kept working hard and kept the faith in my own game that at some point I'd be able to score those runs and then that makes leading a whole lot easier.

What did you do last night? Relaxed? Beer with dad?

I did go for a beer with my old man. He was up and booked his flight for a month late which everyone says was a bit silly, I just think he's' quite cunning. Just caught up with him for a beer and tried to keep it as relaxed and as normal a procedure as possible.

Did you have any superstitions going on over the last three days? Wearing the same pair of socks or anything like that?

No, I'm not really a superstitious person. The only thing I wanted was to keep using the same bat and I kept ripping the grip on it so I had to keep putting tape on it, which was a bit comical. No real superstitions. It was just trying to staying in the moment and keep willing yourself through.

There was probably a period late on that first day when we started batting in the second innings when I was pretty fatigued and then once you break through that I found you were able to break sessions down into drinks breaks or bowlers' spells as well. And probably the first Test match helped me with that too. Obviously being able to bat for a period of time and get a decent score there gave me the confidence where you could push thorough that time when you're fatigued and you'd get a second wind at the end of it.

What's going to happen to that bat? Are you going to keep using it or put it somewhere?

I'm not sure. It will go in the cupboard for a little while since we're off to T20 cricket. That will bring out one of my old favourites which has a few more dents around the edges and can handle a bit more of the swashbuckling swings.

Did you consciously make any technical or mental changes? You were struggling in the one-dayers and suddenly you found the confidence in the Tests.

One-dayers are circumstantial and the team required us guys in the middle to lower order, after the foundations we had, to come out and try and play the shots to continue to up the run rates. That's a little bit circumstantial and the situation of the team far outweighs your own personal agendas at the time. I wasn't too unhappy about my form after the one-dayers because we won 4-0 and that's what you play for.

Leading into the Test series, I worked pretty hard, well, I have worked pretty hard through my whole career. But leading into this summer I put a lot of emphasis on my Test game and defence and trying to ensure that I'm trying to defend straight and I know where my off stump is. If you trust that then the shots you try to play are a lot more effective than trying to go to attack as your first form of defence. Because you don't trust that. Those are some of the changes I have tried to make. It doesn't always work as we saw in the first innings here. I still play the odd rash shot but it is nice when it does come off to get the success of doing so.

How are you going to celebrate?

I'm going to have a quiet beer with my team-mates. Just catch up with the boys once all the formalities are taken care of and pledge up in the change room and just reflect on a season that's been pretty important for us and the game in New Zealand.

How about a bottle of wine for Kohli (who dropped him on 9)?

I'm not sure what sort of wine he drinks but he probably got his little bit of karma back this afternoon (when he was given not out by umpire Steve Davis after nicking behind). I very much appreciated him putting that one down but thankfully I didn't offer too many chances after that.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Aashiyer on (February 20, 2014, 20:54 GMT)

Good job McCullum. I am an Indian fan so I am sad that we had a huge lead and still only drew the game. Kohli and Dhawan both dropped him or we would have won. I will just look for the IPL.

Posted by donbanda on (February 20, 2014, 1:25 GMT)

As a Srilankan supporter now living in NZ I was at the Basin 24 years ago when Crowe missed getting to 300 by just one run against Srilanka. Last Tuesday I was again at the Basin, the best cricket ground in the world, to watch one of the greatest test innings. What atmosphere, what joy. Never will I forget this. Bravo McCullum.

Posted by KiwiPom on (February 19, 2014, 22:42 GMT)

Let's be quite clear about this. McCullum's decision not to declare overnight was not for personal reasons. He probably did consider declaring but others will have had a view which prevailed. An NZer putting 300 on the board in a test innings for the first time is a landmark not specifically owned by Brendon McCullum. It is owned by the tradition of NZ test cricket. It is owned by the tradition of test cricket as a whole - it needed an NZer on that list, and it is owned by the nation. Actually winning the game - especially given the series standing - was something of far lesser importance. Look at the queues to get in on that last morning. I think McCullum would have been in danger of being lynched had he declared overnight :) I've asked myself on a number of occasions if I'd have said the same thing if we were 1-0 down rather than 1-0 up in the series. My answer to that is McCullum would have gone for the 300 on the previous evening and lived or died in the attempt.

Posted by bdsmaruf on (February 19, 2014, 16:48 GMT)

probably the most polite captain of the world at this moment

Posted by MianNasir on (February 19, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

Great fighting spirit, he stole the show big time, I am Pakistani but i love NZ team batting. It was pleasure to watch McCullum's performance.

Posted by nicevans on (February 19, 2014, 9:47 GMT)

Arguably the best innings by a Nz batsman ever - fantastic!

People who criticise him for not declaring over night simply have no idea, 325 was never a safe option.

@Ms cricket.. bmac is our best captain since fleming, and this team is unified with him, he was a big part as to why we won this series. Thankfully you are in the vast minority with your opinion

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 4:38 GMT)

People call it what you want gr8 innings or not, as a Captain he just wanted save the Test and so got to that point. Indians were Gentlemanly or Stupid, cant say which, but if I were captain I would have banged him till he got out, long before he got to 200, since he had the back problem and was getting treatment on the ground again and again.This is what I wrote, here at ESPNCRicinfo, on 18th. FEb. morning "Why is he undecided about the out come of the Game, NZ are going to win it. Just take scenario 1. If they declare after Brendon scores his triple hundred India have to scores 400 + in the day and its not going to be easy. They lose 0ne or two wickets, thanks to Umpiring decisions not NZ bowlers , then India tries to save the match....." .And exactly that is what happened to Shikhar Dhawan, Umpiring decision, if he had been at the crease India would not have lost any wickets, his wicket kind of became a morale booster for NZ team and got another wicket and another...

Posted by   on (February 19, 2014, 3:14 GMT)

Great achievement, but you're putting an individual's achievement ahead of the needs of the team. If I were captain, I would of declared early on the 5th day, to get a rare win / whitewash for NZ cricket. Anyway good on you Brendan, you deserve the adolation.

Posted by crickketlover on (February 19, 2014, 2:08 GMT)

Great cricketer and greater human being. The world needs more cricketers like Brendon. Congratulations on this superb display of batting skills and captaincy.

Posted by KPWij on (February 19, 2014, 0:48 GMT)

I am an Aussie fan who has always had a soft spot for NZ and all the fantastic cricketers they have produced. Cairns, Fleming, Astle, Harris, Nash to name a few and Brendon McCullum may not have teared up but I certainly did. I unfortunately missed seeing the event live but when I got home from work I caught a replay, the atmosphere at a ground on a Tuesday in a country with 4.4 milion people was something that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. And McCullum has been such a fantastic ambassador for cricketers around the world making the achievement a great reward for a hard-working, tough and one of the most committed players in international cricket. Though his statistics don't highlight his importance, McCullum has been a guardian of cricket in NZ across the last 5 years much like the old guys I mentioned at the top of the comment. That match showed us again why cricket, in particular test cricket is such a beautiful game. Congratulations B. McCullum!

Posted by larahooperinc on (February 19, 2014, 0:27 GMT)

I'm happy for mccullum and the nz a windies supporter I am really looking forward to the return series in the Caribbean later this year.that should be a very good series.i hope both teams will be at full strength.

Posted by geedubnz on (February 18, 2014, 23:59 GMT)

wow those grapes taste pretty sour don't they. Wonderful performance by NZ to keep india without a win over 7 matches, particularly given the hype before India's arrival and all the talk about how much better india was in all departments. Well done NZ - we only get a good result to celebrate every 5 years or so - so lets be happy with it while it lasts

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 18, 2014, 21:36 GMT)

@SinSpider I certainly wanted him to get the 300 no matter how long it took, but when you have #10 out on the park and you're leading by 400 I don't understand why you'd bat another 10 overs out of the game to get to 420 and leave 4 overs before lunch. 10-12 overs before lunch, declare. The time of declaration didn't make any sense really. It's not like NZ were ever going to lose from there, even those Indian bowlers who had been bowling for 2 days straight were getting seam and swing from a 30 over ball.

Posted by TheKeeper on (February 18, 2014, 21:35 GMT)

The all time highest individual test score by a 'right-handed' batsman is 374 by Mahela Jayawardene against South Africa in 2006.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 18, 2014, 21:14 GMT)

Do the circumstances of this defeat make this the greatest 300 of all time, not just the circumstances of the match position but the two other tons that went with it. Truly extraordinary, and against the Indians, well that's just gilding the lily.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 21:05 GMT)

Mind-blowing, Speechless Mind-blowing, Speechless Mind-blowing, Speechless

Posted by sTruthHurts on (February 18, 2014, 20:12 GMT)

Tremendous innings. One of the great innings in test cricket. I eat humble pie for past criticisms of BMac. What would I know, I have never been there, I am just a passionate fan. He has shown his humility and greatness. Great. The whole of NZ has been lifted by this innings, for 3 days as you walk around town strangers have been talking to each other: "How is the cricket going? How many has McCullum got?" etc etc. This is why test cricket is so great. ICC with your new structure please do not drown us in T20, please ensure that test cricket stays at the top; there is no other game in the world like it. Thank you Brendon McCullum.

Posted by Gdesai on (February 18, 2014, 19:51 GMT)

This is the best innings i have seen in the last year of Test cricket just surpassing a very similar knock by Darren Bravo here in NZ considering the game situation. Unbelievable powers of concentration and determination from the man who is probably one of the best T20 batsman going around. Sometimes, the leadership brings out the best in few people and no doubt, Brendan has taken it like a duck to the water! I would be wrong, if i don't congratulate Watling who played a similar innings and Neesham, the man never looked like a batsman on debut!

Posted by MrBail on (February 18, 2014, 17:56 GMT)

Amazing innings. I rarely tune in to test matches that dont have the australian team playing. But WOW its amazing to see a lost test for NZ recovered by 3 men. IMO this is why test cricket is the best, Its like a long game of chess.

Gratz to Baz and the NZ team. Also it was great to see the Indian team patting him on the back, I applaud that :)

Posted by SevereCritic on (February 18, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

A remarkable innings of determination, focus and application -- a true captain's knock. Take a bow my good sir; it was as good a test innings that I have ever in nearly 3 decades of watching test cricket.

Posted by srisri on (February 18, 2014, 17:08 GMT)

Except Pak, Windies & England, all major teams scored triple centuries against India. If your country needs triple centuries, high time to invite India for a test series!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 15:26 GMT)

"I feel a little bit embarrassed because I'm not anywhere near the calibre of players that those two in particular are but I think in terms of New Zealand cricket and moving forward for this team, we have finally broken that 300 barrier and hopefully some of these guys in the years to come will continue to break that barrier." Baz

great sentiment and character there!

India might have lost the series but from NZ point of view it is a great season of Test cricket. Tremendous achievement to beat a top Test team - even if it is at home and even if it is a team that is at a low outside its backyard. Soak it up NZ fans!

Posted by Shubham2516 on (February 18, 2014, 15:09 GMT)

@ODI-Yes, yes, sure. ODI is the best format. Have you seen the difference between the two formats i.e test and ODI. Mitch bowling at 150 in ODI with more bounce, wide given. In the test format, when he bowls, he is fearsome, batsmen are trying to evade him much as possible, now tell me which one is more pleasurable to watch? You decide.

Posted by tim_peace on (February 18, 2014, 15:08 GMT)

McCullum deserves every bit of adulation that he is being showered with. He has done his team and country proud with his brave batting to anchor his team. Like a true captain who does not desert a sinking ship, he clung on with his two mates till they forged ahead weathering the storm! India too has to ponder how to sail the boat when the wind is blowing the other way and we are lost and all at sea with the situation. India decided to go where the wind blew hoping for Dame Luck to take them ashore. Unfortunately her quota had been used up long ago and they ended up marooned on Kiwi island. Maybe a new captain with the courage of BMac is the need of the hour. If yes, there is hope in the horizon. If not, its going to be a rerun of the Life of Pi with the Indians battling the tiger within!

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 18, 2014, 15:03 GMT)

Each major teams in world cricket have a batsman scoring 300 in career. SA- Amla, India- Sehwag, SL- Sanga & Jaya, Pak- Yunus, Aus- Clarke, WI- Gayle, NZ-McCullam. Eng missed the place by 9 runs as Cook scored 293 against India in 2011 !

Posted by SinSpider on (February 18, 2014, 14:57 GMT)

I am shocked to see some people commenting that Bazz was selfish in NOT declaring ahead of time. You are not serious, are you? For a starter, every Test match does not need a WIN - LOSS result to be interesting. From the position NZ was on day 3, they needed a miracle to even draw the test.

IMO, NZ won this test by drawing it and India lost it with poor bowling and captaincy in the 2nd innings.

Posted by GoCho on (February 18, 2014, 14:53 GMT)

Incredible batting from Baz. To do this when you are physically far from fit, 250 odd runs behind and have lost early wickets - as an Indian I doff my hat to you sir! Doesnt matter if it came against a toothless bowling attack for the situation itself would force most batsmen to commit a mistake at some point or the other. One of Inzy's best test innings was against Bangladesh where he led his team to a 1 wicket win. Infact I would rate this even higher than the magical 281 by VVS (even though India managed a victory in that game) for Baz had to control his natural game and play according to the situation. A thoroughly deserved victory and you should enjoy every word of praise that is coming your way.

Posted by AltafPatel on (February 18, 2014, 14:52 GMT)

Every batsmen have a dream of playing Mohammad Hanif innings at least once in a life and that came true for McCullam ! He achieved feat of career and won't worry about retiring from cricket any point of time. Well cone Brandon.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

@ODI, your screen name is enough for people to not take any of your comments seriously(Bet you are one of those who says Dhoni is the greatest ever too aye). What happened over the last 3 days or over these 2 test series or the entire NZ summer in general is why test cricket is not only the greatest form of cricket but the greatest sport ever. Enough said!

Posted by DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on (February 18, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

There is no surprise why test cricket does not attract huge spectators, sponsors and also why people saying it as waste of time.

Eventhough opposition team has no chance of winning a test match, dominating team keeps on playing for records. Chasing 380 in 77 overs in 5th day test pitch is near impossible, but Brendon maccullum let jeesham to score 100, may be Brendon is trying to project that he was not playing for record. Target 380 in 75 could have made this match more intresting. Test cricket has 'no pressure', teams are looking for draw first. There is no wonder why test championship attract no sponsorships. Captains like dhoni, macculum makes test cricket more boring.

Posted by one-down on (February 18, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

@Ankit Kumar: well, you have missed the point completely! it's about grinding the opposition down... and tiring out the bowlers and getting lots and lots of batting practice at the expense of a weak, tired and lacklustre Indian bowling attack... sorry, if I sound pedantic... I just cannot help using those words :) hmmm how about impotent? that's a good word to describe this weak Indian pop-gun bowling attack...

on another note... it is not important what you believe or felt... it was McCullum's decision to make... and he made a decision he felt was in the best interests of his team... well, they have WON the series!!! enough said :)

India chasing down 350 in a day... hmmm not likely... the days of Sehwag, Dravid and Laxman are over :) case closed :)

Posted by Optimistix on (February 18, 2014, 13:50 GMT)

Well done NZ - and what a monumental innings from McCullum. I called him a modest test bat a few days earlier, but this was certainly an epic innings, and if he continues to be as focussed and disciplined, he will continue to be a much better test batsman than his record until now suggests.

Things looking up for NZ, with Taylor & Baz leading as seniors, and lots of promising youngsters. For India, Rahane, Kohli, Pujara and possibly Dhawan & Shami look like long term prospects - as for the rest, India need to replace them to have any realistic chance of doing well abroad.

Posted by NALINWIJ on (February 18, 2014, 13:33 GMT)

I will not criticise him for batting on for 300 but will criticise him for not declaring at drinks with 393 in front. they were safe as houses but with a 10% chance of throwing a carrot and winning the match.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 13:17 GMT)

Its amazing to read some of the comments about BAZZ as a batsman or as a captain. I mean if you can't digest the defeat of this series its fine because as an Indian fan one should feel hurt but trying to degrade the inning BAZZ played is shameful. One must first realise that if Indian team can't bowl out 5 batsman out of 10 in 200+ overs who's fault is it than? I believe it was a massive achievement by Kiwis and all credit should go to BAZZ, Watling and Neesham. Cricket these days seldom see innings of such calibre in such tough situations. Well Done Team New Zealand.

Posted by Lariam on (February 18, 2014, 13:17 GMT)

Kudos to Brandon! Kudos to BJ and Neesham too. To save the test after conceding a huge 1st innings lead and then to bat for more than 12 hours is a herculean effort. Am also impressed with humility of Brandon. So much to learn from him. I understand and agree with Brandon's decision to stretch the lead. He ruled out loosing the match after all the effort he and his team mates had put in. I was lucky to be able to watch this effort on TV. I will cherish this for a long long time. This, once again, proves why Test cricket is the best form of cricket. I don't think I will be able to survive without Test cricket..... :)

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (February 18, 2014, 13:06 GMT)

playing for record is selfish but not wrong. if he was feeling embrassing then why he has not declared? THIS IS MY 1LY QUESTION bcz After end of 4th day NZ was leading by 324, definitely india would not chase that target in full 5th day! @pardo odi is best form that's why more people loving odi. I pardon you for personal comment that you made about me. Test cricket has no pressure you can leave good balls forever. But in odi you have to play.

Posted by Grannyma on (February 18, 2014, 13:05 GMT)

Congratulations to Brendan, great milestone for NZ cricket. However following on from Mr Holding's article yesterday there have now been 16 scores of 300+ since 2002 whereas before that year there were only 15 scores of 300+ in the ENTIRE HISTORY of test cricket. Proof, if further proof was needed, on how batsman friendly pitches have become for batsman with body Armour protection. Thank goodness for Mitchel Johnson.....plenty more please Mich for the next couple years to see who are the real great batsman right now, AB already stood up!

Posted by jbrown249 on (February 18, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

This was a mounmental effort by Brendon, BJ and James Neesham to do what they did and relentlesssly grind the Indian bowling attack over after over, hour after hour, session after session - this was classic back to wall stuff guys. I was checking on the scores from Days 3 - 5 from Abidjan, Ivory Coast (who would you think is following cricket from the land of Didier Drogba??) and was enthralled by the fightback. Congratulations for the triple century to Baz and also for the debut ton by James Neesham and not forgetting BJ's battling 4th century. Man, you guys are heroes in all cricket fans eyes with the exception maybe of the poor Indian team that was run ragged in the 200+ overs that they spent on the field. All the same, great spirit all round exhibited by both teams. MS and boys, I feel sorry that you took such a hammering but you guys made it a good game of cricket all round.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 12:58 GMT)

So many critics for McCullum's innings! Just remember the state of the game when he came in. Think of how hard he fought against not only the bowlers but his own natural instincts. It is disingenuous to have anything other than complete praise for his efforts, and, indeed, his humility after the event. Test cricket is much stronger for the efforts of McCullum, Watling and Neesham.

Posted by SinSpider on (February 18, 2014, 12:52 GMT)

Well done Brendon. I am an Indian supporter, but watching you bat was a pleasure. Especially, the situation demanded a super heroic performance and thats exactly what you delivered. Congratulations!

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 12:40 GMT)

One thing that McCullum may not know or comprehend is that: there were millions, who stayed up at night, followed on Cricinfo, in different countries, just to watch his triple century accomplishment, cheering on every ball, every run from their beds or sofas.

Man! what a treat to watch his innings.

Posted by pardo on (February 18, 2014, 12:24 GMT)

Brilliant innings - I watched Crowe's 299 live on telly and remember the stress and disappointment when he got out like it was yesterday.Followed this one on cricinfo and it was even more stressful waiting for the refresh! Given the state of the game when he came in that has to be one of the best innings ever. Superb support as well.

Now, if we can just fine two opening bats worthy of the name then NZ cricket is in for some exciting times.

Oh, and ODI_BestFormOfCricket - as your user name suggests you are clearly an fool or a troll - please don't clutter up discussion boars with such nonsense.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 12:23 GMT)

If Baz was that embarassed, he should have declared before reaching 300.

Remember Mark Taylor declaring at his overnight score of 334* because he didn't want to go past Don Bradman's highest score.

There is no harm in saying that you wanted to score that triple. No need to say these things to show your modesty.

Posted by   on (February 18, 2014, 12:20 GMT)

@one-down: "The only downside is that he got it against a weak, tired and lacklustre Indian bowling attack... everybody scores BIG hundreds against them... ask the Sri Lankan batsmen if you need any confirmation :)"

Yes. They piled up triples. But the Sri Lankans still COULDN'T WIN the match and that's what matters at the end. Piling up 952 is no use if you can't WIN the match. Moreover Sri Lankans always play for just records. You can often see them setting up targets of 500+ against the weak Bangladeshis. The no. of tests they play against Bangladesh is much more than every other team.

I still believe Mccullum should have declared at the end of the day or latest by 5th day morning when he got to his triple. That would have given them the chance to go for a victory.

NZ didn't try to win the match. Looked like they were content with a 1-0 win over India. Or may be they were scared that India would easily chase down 350 odd on the 5th day.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (February 18, 2014, 12:16 GMT)

McCullum played a great innings making the most of his luck but that does not change the fact that he is a poor captain. He nearly cost NZ the fist Test by his foolish decision not to enforce the follow on and here he could have declared overnight but waited for his own personal landmark and then let NZ bat on to make it seem he wasn't playing for his landmark and cost NZ a great chance to win 2-0. India would have stuggled if they had to play 90 overs on Day 5.

Posted by jagansanthanam on (February 18, 2014, 12:04 GMT)

Okay, here is a guy who has been playing test cricket for almost 10-12 years and 80 odd tests. All he has managed to score so far was 37 odd run average. To let a bloke of such mediocre talent, score a double and a triple century in a 2 test series is shameful. Having said that, this is a great reason for NZ cricket to celebrate. If they can continue to build on this success, this team can be right up there with the big boys. Now for most of the Indian blokes, IPL will give them an opportunity to redeem some of the lost ground.

Posted by RhidWilliams on (February 18, 2014, 12:00 GMT)

Oh @ODI_BestFormOfCricket, what tosh. For a start, ODI is the best form of cricket? I think not. And second, McCullum didn't declare until 55 runs after his dismissal - in other words, he was playing to secure the series and his personal feelings didn't come into it. Shame on you for such a negative attitude.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (February 18, 2014, 11:59 GMT)

I am impressed by the humility of this New Zealand. Hopefully they can improve even more and we can have a great Tasman Test series in the future.

Posted by WineForKohli on (February 18, 2014, 11:47 GMT)

This innings was inspirational to watch. The focus, the determination to overcome oneself, the lack of content until the job is done, all were at display and I hope many people take away those lessons. Forget the 300 for sometime, he himself said he wadsn't aware of its magnitude 24 hours back. Those numbers don't really mean anything if you don't finish the job. He knew that when he reached 200 and his reaction was something I have never seen in a cricketer who has just finished a double. No matter how spineless Indian bowling is, they did ball well for a large amount of time in the 2nd innings. Sure, it will be very hard for someone to score against Aus or SA attack but the sort of determination that was on display, the respect to beautiful deliveries when required, I just doubt anything would have stopped him against stronger bowlers. Thank you Brendon(and BJ too), you guys surely, even if unintentionally, gave us a brilliant life lesson.

Posted by RDBX on (February 18, 2014, 11:45 GMT)

@ODI_BestFormOfCricket- Sir, you don't understand TEST CRICKET at all, do you?

Reading your comment made me realize that you just don't know what a test series win is or what hard work Bazz went through to get his team from certainly a losing point to a point where people like you can say that he should have declared to try and win this.

NZ were ahead in the series and a draw was the only thing (After being in the position NZ were in after 2 days) on his mind and once he got at that point where he could have gone for a win he must have realized that its a real big risk of putting all that hard work on line to try and win the test and lose it eventually.

I support his decision, WELL DONE BAZZ! You took the game to a new level.

Thanks for this wonderful display of how to play a real test innings when the odds are against you.

A Cricket fan from India signing off.

Posted by one-down on (February 18, 2014, 11:37 GMT)

@ODI_BestFormOfCricket : "If he declared earlier NZ would have chance to press victory but maccullum 'wanted' record."

Of course he 'wanted' that record!!! Do you know why? Well, for starters it's not everyday someone gets to score a triple century in a test... heck, even Tendulkar has not got one ;) and neither did Gavaskar!

The only downside is that he got it against a weak, tired and lacklustre Indian bowling attack... everybody scores BIG hundreds against them... ask the Sri Lankan batsmen if you need any confirmation :)

I bet McCullum would have preferred scoring it against a more talented and aggressive bowling attack... having said all that... it is a monumental task that McCullum has achieved; given the position the Kiwis were in when he came in to bat.

Posted by aks1987 on (February 18, 2014, 11:36 GMT)

Great read this was. Very detailed and informative.

Posted by sherishahmir on (February 18, 2014, 11:23 GMT)

Great innings probably the greatest inning of his career, true had Macallum declared bit earlier this match could be a resulted in favor of Kiwis, but he made sure being the captain to win series first for country which is also fair enough since they (being number 8 ranked team) are going to beat world number 2 ranked team in test series. I guess NZ got a good combination of pace bowlers southee, wagner and boult if they work on their batting strength by bringing back on permanent basis i.e. jessie ryder, martin guptil and few more they can be v good side.

Posted by Foxymoron on (February 18, 2014, 11:09 GMT)

Quite an unbelievable innings in an unbelievable test match. McCullum had many critics in NZ but his aggressive and innovative captaincy mixed with his new found grit with the bat have silenced them. With Southee, Taylor and Williamson maturing, plus Boult, McClengagan, and Anderson coming into their own (not to mention Neesham, Watling and Wagner) - the future is looking great for NZ cricket. But I wonder when India will be back on these shores?

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (February 18, 2014, 11:01 GMT)

if he felt embrassed then why he had not declared before that 'record'. If he declared earlier NZ would have chance to press victory but maccullum 'wanted' record.

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