Brisbane - Skipper Brendon McCullum
insisted on Wednesday that New Zealand's "nice guys" image was
authentic after as he responded calmly to Australian claims that their friendly
demeanour was just an act.
Australian opener David Warner and captain
Steve Smith have both questioned whether the Black Caps were genuine about
their polite approach to playing their cricket, which contrasts with the
But McCullum, questioned on his team's
playing philosophy a day ahead of the first Test in Brisbane, articulated how
the Kiwis go about their cricket.
McCullum said he was fine about Australia's
in-your-face approach, but added that "sledging never worked" for his
"That's how we play. It's not for
everyone and we don't expect everyone to play the way that we do," he
"Everyone is entitled to play in their
own way and we've worked out that this gives us our greatest chance as a
McCullum explained playing in the right
spirit evolved when the New Zealand players looked at what worked best for them
in the Test arena.
"It sort of grew organically, to be
honest," he said. "For a long period of time we were searching for a
bit of a soul about our team.
"In the end we stumbled on the fact
that sledging has never worked for us, we're not very good at it for a start,
and also we're not skilled enough to be able to take our eyes off the ball and
be focused on other things.
"It sits comfortably with this group
of guys... and allows us to focus on the job at hand which is executing our
skills on the field."
McCullum said there were no fines or
punishments handed out within the group to ensure that players maintain the
"No absolutely not, it's got to be
authentic or otherwise it's an act," he said.
"We're not trying to put up an act, we
just want to go out there and play our cricket and be a part of a team that
gives it a good crack and tries to be best we can be representing our country.
"It's certainly not forced upon
anyone, it's just grown organically, I guess."
McCullum said his team was excited at the
prospect of facing the Australians in their own conditions over three Tests in
Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
"The guys are relaxed, are in a good
frame of mind and are under no illusions about how difficult the task in front
of us is," he said.
"If we can focus on the things we need
to do and try to execute our team plans the best way we possibly can then we're
going to give ourselves the best chance.
"I'm pretty confident that our guys
will play well and if we are beaten then we'll make it bloody tough for them to
New Zealand are chasing their first series
win in Australia for 30 years and face the challenge that no team has beaten
Australia at their Gabba fortress since 1988.