Cricket

Media hail 'Captain Fantastic'

2014-02-19 09:14
Brendon McCullum (AFP)

Wellington - New Zealand media dubbed triple centurion Brendon McCullum "Captain Fantastic" on Wednesday, as Black Caps coach Mike Hesson said his unfancied team was finally reaching its potential.

"Our greatest innings," trumpeted the New Zealand Herald's front page, accompanied by a picture of McCullum with his arms aloft after scoring 302 in the second Test against India at Wellington's Basin Reserve.

"History maker," splashed Wellington's Dominion Post, highlighting some of the records McCullum shattered on his way to becoming the first New Zealander in 84 years of Test cricket to reach 300.

They included the longest-ever innings by a New Zealand batsman at 775 minutes, facing the most balls (559) and contributing to a national record Test innings score of 680.

"No wonder he looked so shattered," the Dominion Post said, adding that the tattooed 32-year-old had earned a place alongside the greats of New Zealand cricket.

While individual accolades were heaped on McCullum, the Black Caps also won collective praise for recent performances which have included Test series wins over India and the West Indies, as well as a 4-0 ODI triumph over Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men.

"It's been a heck of a summer," coach Hesson told commercial radio, saying New Zealand had a depth of playing talent that combined experience and youth.

"We've got some nice players around New Zealand at the moment and it's a matter of picking the right time to introduce them."

Hesson, who faced a huge public backlash after installing McCullum as captain ahead of the popular Ross Taylor in late 2012, said the fans were now behind the team.

He said he had told his players that their support was not just because they were winning, but because of the positive attitude they brought to the game.

"(I said) the New Zealand public are behind you guys because of the way you're playing your cricket - you're showing the fighting characteristics that, as New Zealanders, we love to see.

"But we know as a group that we've just turned a corner and we have to get better and better."

New Zealand Cricket board member Martin Snedden said the Black Caps' form provided a huge boost to the game as the country prepares to co-host the World Cup with Australia next year.

"We needed the home team to be firing to make sure people's enthusiasm was at the right levels and the team has responded brilliantly," said Snedden, who was in charge of organising the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

"So it's all good news for cricket in New Zealand at the moment."

Read more on:    new zealand  |  brendon mccullum  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
Vote

What was the No 1 reason for the Proteas losing their ICC World Twenty20 semi-final to India?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.