We can still win series - McCullum

2015-11-09 09:00
Brendon McCullum (File)

Brisbane - Skipper Brendon McCullum on Monday said New Zealand still had high hopes of ending their Australian Test series drought despite being "comprehensively outplayed" in the first match in Brisbane.

McCullum said the Black Caps expected to be boosted by the recovery of pace spearhead Tim Southee from injury for the second match in Perth as they look for their first Test series win in Australia for 30 years.

New Zealand slipped to a heavy, 208-run defeat at Brisbane's Gabba ground, where Australia have not been beaten since losing to Viv Richards' all-conquering West Indies in 1988.

"Obviously, we're off the pace. Australia bossed the game from the start and thoroughly deserved the win," McCullum said ahead of Friday's second Test.

"There were some good signs for us but we're going to have to get better in a short space of time. The size of the result was fair. We were completely outplayed.

"But we won't lose heart. We know we've got a good side and skilled players and our style, when we're able to get the ascendancy, works for us."

McCullum and his Black Caps team will now fly west to the WACA ground, where New Zealand have won once in six Tests.

"We'll head there with high hopes and we'll be better for the run in this Test match. The beauty is it's a three-match series and we've still got an opportunity to win it," he said.

McCullum took on the chin criticism about his captaincy, particularly his unusual field settings during Australia's rampant first innings of 556 for four declared.

"We're always going to try and be proactive but we didn't have the level of control we wanted," he said.

"Sometimes it works and people say you're a genius, and sometimes it doesn't and people criticise.

"That's our style of play, we know it gives us our greatest opportunity but you've still got to execute as well."

McCullum added that he was confident pace spearhead Southee will be fit for Perth, after he was troubled by a back injury in Brisbane as was all-rounder James Neesham.

Neesham has been ruled out of the three-Test series but McCullum is hoping the influential Southee will play at the WACA.

"I am pretty confident, he is starting to come right pretty quickly which is a good sign," McCullum said.

"Back injuries can recover pretty quickly, we will give him every chance. He showed in that first innings he will pose a lot of questions so hopefully he will play."

McCullum also paid tribute to the form of Kane Williamson, who scored his 11th Test century with 140 in the first innings and was given out to a contentious leg before wicket decision on 59 in the second dig.

"Kane Williamson is probably the best hundred I've ever seen from a New Zealander in the time I've been playing," McCullum said.

"Just full of class and shows once again how good a player he is. That he can score runs in any conditions against any attack in the world.

"That's a huge positive out of this Test match."

Read more on:    new zealand  |  brendon mccullum  |  cricket

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