West Indies v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Bridgetown, 5th day June 30, 2014

'We are showing how good we can be' - McCullum

ESPNcricinfo staff

Brendon McCullum has hailed New Zealand's "awesome" bowling on the final day to clinch the series-deciding Barbados Test. New Zealand had declared overnight, leaving West Indies 308 to get in a possible 98 overs - a gamble as the series was on the line and Chris Gayle featured in the opposition. It paid off as New Zealand won the Test in the final hour on a rain-hit day and took their first away series against top-eight opposition in 12 years.

"I think to win on the last day of the series and to do it after probably setting a rather bold declaration as well, for so long in this game we were behind the game," McCullum said. "To come out with the result and a series win overseas against a very stubborn West Indies team is something that we are all very proud of."

Midway through the Test, West Indies were looking for a significant first-innings advantage but New Zealand hit back to limit the lead to 24, before Kane Williamson's career-best 161* put the visitors in control of the game. "[They] dominated us for a long period of time, the most pleasing aspect for me was that we weathered that storm," McCullum said. "We kept finding ways to claw our way back in, we kept showing those fighting characteristics we talk a lot about within the group and we want to be known for outside the group."

Williamson's century rounded off a series in which he topped the charts with 413 runs at 82.60, and showed he was turning into the world class batsman New Zealand have long expected him to be. "Not just that innings ... he's the most selfless man, he's all about what the team needs, and how he can perform a role for the team," McCullum said. "His innings alone was sublime in trying circumstances, against two very good spinners on a pitch that was turning and bouncing a bit, he really showed his class."

The victory also sealed New Zealand's third consecutive series, following a golden home summer that featured triumphs over West Indies and India. "Very special, three series, three series wins a row, two at home, people were asking are we just a team that can play well at home, are we good enough to play away from home, how good is this team, I think we are showing how good we can be, we are nowhere near the finished product but we are starting to play the brand of cricket and the style of cricket that people want to follow."

New Zealand now turn their attention to the two Twenty20s against West Indies, a format in which the hosts have usually thrived in.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on July 2, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    @ cricaddict9118 offers the opinion that " All (2014 test series) have been very closely fought series with most results coming on 5th day," and asks "Sign of things to come for Ind Eng series ?"

    Given Eng's current ineptitude (bar their debutants) and the toothless Indian bowling on display in the warm up matches, the signs I see all point to 5 incredibly boring draws. Neither attack seems capable of taking 20 wickets, and neither skipper is a hasty declarer. Cricket's most conservative captains will bat on for days against fruitless bowling. I think 2014's streak of exciting tests may end right there.

  • Ali on July 2, 2014, 4:19 GMT


    excellent description of WI selectors ...

    If WI played 6 batsmen and used Holder, Roach, Taylor, Narine ... FOR ALL 3 TESTS

    (as any other selection panel in the entire WORLD would have used)

    WI might have won 2 Tests at least !

  • Jordan on July 2, 2014, 3:40 GMT

    @Ms.Cricket. We beat INDIA (who were ranked 2nd in the world) at home. Playing at home is A LOT different to playing away. Teams win away from home VERY rarely nowadays. Even teams like Australia or South Africa would struggle to beat NZ on our home tracks.

    What makes this a big accomplishment isn't that we beat the WI (which we did easily at home a few months ago) but did it away in spin friendly conditions, something we have always struggled with.

    This shows we are improving regardless of who the opposition is. 3 test series wins in a row is MASSIVE in the scheme of things. Maybe you should stop hating and just focus on the growth and positives of our current team.

  • stewey on July 2, 2014, 0:55 GMT

    Promising signs from NZ. As a staunch supporter, it has been a long time coming. Bring on the T20's...

  • Prem on July 2, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    NZ beat the No 8 team in the world and McCullum is crowing! Get some standards Brendon!

  • Jordan on July 1, 2014, 21:18 GMT

    @Harlequin We have a surprising amount of depth and I don't think any injuries would weaken us significantly (maybe aside from Watling despite Ronchi being in good form)

    We have seamers like Milne and Henry waiting in the wings who aren't any worse than Wagner is. They're arguably even better. Henry gets a lot more pace and swing but is more of an opening bowler rather than a 3rd seamer, but i'm sure he could take up that role easy enough. As could Milne.

    As for the batting side of things, Yeah our team would be weakened if we removed one of Williamson or Taylor. But if you remove the best 2 players from any team you could say the same. (Look what happened to SA without Kallis).

    This NZ team was without Anderson and Ryder as well who are arguably better than the players playing. (cachopa, Raval and Bracewell are also waiting in the wings as top order batsman averaging in the 40's)

    It wouldn't be hugely unfair to say NZ have more depth in FC than England currently do

  • Kieran on July 1, 2014, 21:08 GMT

    Time to discard Fulton and Rutherford. Ryder or Guptill as openers with Latham.

  • Fydd on July 1, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    While I think NZ are good, they aren't great yet. It is a mixed bag still. Some stretches of good batting but still a tendency to collapse and batters to go out to sloppy shots. Some high class swing bowling from Southee and Boult, and then often not much else follows. So the attack can still go for some when it doesn't swing. B Mac's captaincy is a strange mixture of innovation plus dogmatic 'we must be positive and aggressive at all times' stuff which leads to mixed results. All credit to Craig, but NZ still lack a quality spinner. Finally, good to see Latham develop as a solid opener - time to bring back Guptill as his test partner, he is far better than the painful to watch Fulton and Rutherford.

  • RAJARAMAN on July 1, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    @Ajantha Shantiratnam ... however you try, Big-3 are indispensable ... and they are not so-called without reason ... they are the most capable of running the ICC

    @cricaddict9118 ... followin your trail of touring success in 2014, will England buck the trend? Noooooooooooo, I hope!!

  • adam on July 1, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    As a long suffering NZer I never thought I would ever be able to say this: I like the NZ cricket team. I especially never thought I would say: McCullum and Hesson have done a great job of getting the side to where they are. I'm delighted at McCullum's declaration on the last day, and even more delighted with the bowling to finish the Windies off. At last we have a proper cricket team with some real cajoles and a willingness to scrap. And they are doing it at the highest level - in test matches. More please!

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