Brendon Barrie McCullum
September 27, 1981, Dunedin, Otago
Right hand Bat
Right arm Medium, Right arm Offbreak
Brash, brutal and brilliant to watch, Brendon McCullum could bruise bowling attacks like few others in international cricket. A wicketkeeper-batter, McCullum was used throughout the New Zealand batting order, but whenever he arrived at the crease it was impossible to look away.
He muscled balls over both sides of the field and was responsible for getting the IPL off to an electrifying start, lighting up the tournament's first match with 158, showing what the format had to offer. He reprised that style in Tests too - striking the fastest century in the format's history in his final match.
He also became the second man, after Chris Gayle, to score a T20I century when he brazenly scooped 155kph offerings from Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes over the wicketkeeper's head in Christchurch in 2009-10. McCullum described himself as "brash" and that innings was proof, but he was also a key part of New Zealand's Test team since 2004. In the longer format he began his career at No. 7, and in his second series he entertained the crowd with 96 at Lord's.
He notched up five of his first six Test centuries from that position, but later in his career he also showed he had another gear and could bat according to the needs of the team: against India in Wellington in 2014, he compiled a monumental match-saving 302 in 775 minutes, the eighth-longest innings at the time in terms of minutes, and the first triple-hundred by a New Zealand batter.
Although Adam Parore's Test mark of 201 dismissals was within his reach, McCullum stepped down from the wicketkeeper's role when he took over as captain in all formats at the end of 2012. His succession was anything but smooth, with Ross Taylor, the captain he replaced, opting out of New Zealand's subsequent tour of South Africa amid controversy. However, McCullum slowly moulded New Zealand into a terrific - and hugely popular - team in all formats, not only in terms of their results but also in the manner in which they played the game: attacking with both bat and ball, but without any of the sledging and needless aggression that other teams often displayed. Under him, New Zealand reached the World Cup final for the first time, in 2015, and went 13 consecutive home Tests without a defeat. By the time he retired in 2015-16, McCullum had become the first player to play in 100 consecutive New Zealand Tests from his debut.
Batting & Fielding