Assessing Brendon McCullum’s 302

The big change I’ve made is picking the right shots to the right balls. Brendin McCullum  after making his triple century

By Roger Childs

More history at the Basin Reserve

McCullum 300 Normally the fifth day of a test match would attract a few hundred spectators. However at 11 o’clock this morning thousands packed the Basin hoping to witness a rare piece of cricketing history. Plenty of people were dressed in business suits and skirts ready to watch a milestone and then head off to work.

They were not disappointed as the Black Caps skipper eclipsed Martin Crowe’s 23 year old record of 299 and posted the first triple century in test cricket by a New Zealander.

Plenty of records

 Back on Sunday, New Zealand was staring down the barrel of an innings defeat and a drawn series, after their exciting win in the first test. At 94 for 5 they seemed to have no chance of saving the match, still needing over 150 to make India bat again.

Basin ReserveWicket keeper BJ Watling joined his skipper and the massive recovery began. By the time the Black Caps finally declared at 680 for 8, the Basin Reserve had added more records to its history.

  • A world record test partnership of 352 between McCullum and Watling for the sixth wicket
  • New Zealand’s  highest ever innings in a test: 680
  • A century on debut to  Jimmy Neesham
  • New Zealand’s first triple test century.

A test that India should have won

 Catches win matches. A piece of cricket wisdom

 The Indians ranks second in the world test rankings and were keen to win this match to draw the series. Such a result would have salvaged some pride after they failed to win any of the five  ODI matches.

At 94-5 in the second innings, they had the Black Caps on the ropes and it seemed likely that

  • India would win
  • the series would be drawn
  • the match would be over in three of the scheduled five days.

However McCullum was dropped twice early in his innings and the rest is history.

Putting the big innings in perspective

McCullum’s triple century puts him in the cricket history books, no doubt for some time to  come. The New Zealand records include

  • 302: the most runs
  • 559 : the most deliveries
  • 775; the most minutes at the crease
  • 352 runs for the sixth wicket with BJ Watling, also a world record.

NeeshamThe record breaker has rightly paid tribute to his century making partners: Watling 124 and Neesham 137 not out. The two back-up century scorers partnered McCullum while 531 runs were added for the loss of just one wicket!

Jimmy Neesham (pictured) was in fact one of the few Black Caps to bat well in the first innings and comes out of his debut test with 170 runs for one dismissal.

The Indian bowling and fielding effort was not great and two dropped chances early on should have been taken. Then on two occasions, one with McCullum in the mid 290s,  wicket keeper MS Dhoni was standing two deep to to catch his fellow captain.

The Indian skipper is under suspicion from the ICC for match-fixing and one hopes that after McCullum’s heroics there are no Mumbai bookmakers laughing all the way to  the bank.