New Zealand v South Africa, Group E, Bridgetown May 6, 2010

Barbados track should help top order - McCullum

Cricinfo staff
  shares

Brendon McCullum has said tracks in Barbados, the venue for New Zealand's first Super Eights clash against South Africa on Thursday, should give his team's top-order batsmen a better opportunity to post bigger scores.

"I think the wickets in Barbados will be a little bit quicker and it will present an opportunity for us top-order batsmen to play with a little freedom as well and hopefully we will see one, or two, or three of the top four go on and make some sizeable totals in the next few games," McCullum said. "The pitches in Guyana were a little more conducive to the slower bowling which probably doesn't suit out batsmen quite as much but while it wasn't flash and wasn't flamboyant we got the job done in both games. And at the end of the day that is all you can ask for."

McCullum said South Africa present a different challenge compared to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, whom New Zealand beat in the first round. "South Africa's a quality team, everyone knows that. We've all seen how good they are in all three forms of the game and in Twenty20 they've got some dangerous players right through the line-up and they offer a different challenge to what Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe have offered us so far with a bit more predominant seam attack," he said. "Having said that they have a couple of quality spinners as well."

The star player for New Zealand this tournament has been McCullum's brother Nathan. His all-round show against Sri Lanka clinched a thrilling win for his team and he followed it up by taking 3 for 16 against Zimbabwe. McCullum said his brother's success was important for New Zealand's progress in the tournament.

"I'm pleased for him because I know how hard he has worked and I know how much he wants it and I know how much he loves playing for New Zealand," he said. "He's a vital member of our team at the moment in this form of the game and this country and certainly the role he has to play is going to play a big part in our ability to progress through this tournament."