Brendon McCullum frustrated at soft dismissals
Brendon McCullum was "pretty happy" with New Zealand's comprehensive win over Zimbabwe in the first ODI but said he was left frustrated by some soft dismissals during his team's innings. Martin Guptill top-scored with 70 and several batsmen got starts in the middle order but did not push on. McCullum, batting at No. 3, was lbw for 3.
"If you look at the result, you'd say clinical. If you look at some of the nuances of the game, you'd say there are some rough edges we need to smooth out but it's about getting the right result at the end of the day," McCullum, who captained New Zealand in the absence of the injured Ross Taylor, said. "To score 250 on that wicket and restrict them to 160, we're pretty happy."
The Dunedin pitch was expected to be bowler-friendly and McCullum admitted it was a tough track to bat on. "The feedback from the guys was that it was pretty difficult to bat on. It would hold on every now and then, just pop a little with a bit of movement off the seam as well.
"A couple of guys managed to get in and get some runs but if you look at the way the innings unfolded, there were regular wickets falling, barring one or two partnerships."
"Every time we were getting a partnership together and starting to accelerate we would lose a wicket. We were trying to attack the fifth bowler, keep wickets in hand and utilise that Powerplay in the death overs. It was pretty frustrating, there were a few soft dismissals but overall we managed to get a winning score."
McCullum was happy with the performance of the debutants in the team, and said the other new faces picked in the squad, Michael Bates and Tarun Nethula, would also get a look-in in the games to come. "Andrew Ellis was outstanding with the ball and smart with the bat. Tom Latham looked incredibly composed for a young fellow and showed that he's certainly not out of place at this level.
"Everyone will be definitely getting a run. There's no point getting guys into the squad if they're not going to be getting a run. So, at some stage, there'll be an opportunity."
Guptill was Man of the Match for his 70, but said he could have done better. "I scored a few runs in the HRV Cup and got a little bit of confidence from there. At the moment I just feel in control, over my emotions and my physical state. I was pretty grumpy when I got out, today was an opportunity to go out there and get a big score."