2nd Test India vs NZ: McCullum raises stock as Test batsman
When New Zealand rolled out a green top for the second Test, it indicated Brendon McCullum’s attacking captaincy. Though the chances of the Kiwi pacers dominating India’s strong batting line-up on such a surface were bright, the hosts didn’t really have to try. They needed only a draw to seal the Test series and end the home season on a high.
But that decision fitted well with the image of McCullum the batsman too. Indian fans would best remember the tattooed warrior who smashed a match-winning 158 in the inaugural Indian Premier League match in 2008.
Having ended an almost four-year spell without a Test century against West Indies at home and then piled up 224 against India in Auckland, there was every reason the in-form batsman would look to push the game forward.
But with his team in serious trouble, the 32-year-old grinding out an unbeaten century could prove to be one of the most defining innings by a Kiwi batsman. It can pull the hosts to a position of strength from near certain defeat.
For McCullum, the steady trickle of runs than a torrent, in nearly six hours braving right hand cramp and a left shoulder problem on Sunday, will go to establishing himself as the premier batsman in the side.
Significantly, it came with Ross Taylor absent – his wife gave birth to a boy early on Sunday and there were Twitter jokes requesting him bat in the second innings. McCullum replacing Taylor as skipper had caused tension between the two.
India gave him two lives but he curbed his aggression when MS Dhoni left the off-side field open to tempt him. Batting coach Bob Carter said the knock had raised his stock as a Test batsman. “Brendon has really shown his defensive game has come forward. He is growing in stature as a Test player.”
He needed attention from the physio, but Carter had an interesting take. “The funny side of it is that Brendon had a little bit of a shoulder injury from shining the ball yesterday! He was trying to get it to swing a lot as well as trying to get it changed a lot. And then he was joking today that his bottom hand was playing up. I prefer it to be his top hand actually.”
McCullum acknowledged the demands of captaincy. “As captain that is what you have got to try and achieve. You are not always going to, but you have got to try and work your game to the situation,” he said.
“If we had been rolled over in this Test, it would have been slightly disappointing after how successful the summer's been. That is the beauty of winning consistently and not finding yourself in too many of these situations. When you do find yourself in them, it seems a bit easy to get out of it.”
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Addressing the concluding session of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Surendran’s “Vijay Yatra” in the state capital, Shah posed five questions to the CM.
- Addressing a state conference for its cadres on the outskirts of Trichy, Stalin said a DMK government will give ₹1,000 every month to housewives and create a million jobs every month.
- The meeting came a week after Tewari and other letter writers, the group has been tagged the G23, addressed a meeting in Jammu in honour of retired MP Ghulam Nabi Azad.
- In Tamil Nadu, the Congress is in alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK).
- The observations from the Union health ministry come a day after the country reported the largest single-day increase in new Covid-19 infections in two months.
- Smriti Irani says, "I’m the only female politician who’s also recognised by her former vocation. I recognise the bias in that."
- An official said that both Houses could meet at 11 am from the second week following the vaccination of eligible MPs.
- A suicide note found at the spot said they took the decision because of acute financial distress, an official said.
- The changes have been opposed by some states who see it as another attempt by the Centre to take over mining auctions and impose central rules on a state domain.
- A re-invigorated biodiversity management policy is India’s survival strategy. At this point in our development trajectory, we don’t pay any heed to either biodiversity or landscape conservation.
- According to Forest Survey of India’s forest fire alert system, there were 2,317 fire points last year between February 26 and March 7, but the figure rose to 53,211 this time after data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) was taken into account.