'We are showing how good we can be' - McCullum
Brendon McCullum has hailed New Zealand's "awesome" bowling on the final day to clinch the series-deciding Barbados Test
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.