McCullum's worst call for quiting wicket keeping.

  • Friday, September 10, 2010
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  • Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand batsman, has said his decision to give up wicketkeeping in Tests in order to prolong his career was "gutsy" and could the "worst call" he's made in his career.

    "This has no side-door options for me," McCullum told Press Association. "You go from being one of the major certainties in the team to now being in the mix and being relatively unproven. It's a huge challenge and hopefully it'll be the right decision."

    McCullum announced his decision to quit wicketkeeping in Tests in June but said he would continue to keep in the limited-over formats. He also said he wanted to move up the batting order and that his attacking style, which has resulted in an average of 34.90 in 52 Tests, could help improve New Zealand's results.

    "I'm not saying I'll be successful. I'm not saying I deserve to walk straight into the role," he said. "I believe I've got a game which can help us win more Test matches by batting at the top of the order."

    McCullum is set to rejoin the New Zealand squad following a break. He had skipped a short tour of the USA after the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies and was granted paternity leave during the tri-series in Dambulla involving Sri Lanka and India.

    His impressive form during the previous season won McCullum two New Zealand Cricket awards - the Walter Hadlee Trophy for best ODI batting, because his performances in the UAE helped New Zealand achieve their first away series win against Pakistan, and the John Reid Best Allrounder Trophy for his batting and wicketkeeping. During the period under consideration, McCullum made three centuries and took 55 catches in all forms of the game and his success came after he was relieved of the vice-captaincy.

    "It wasn't a mutual decision at all," he said. "I went from vice-captain, led with title, to now a senior player. I was lucky enough to put it all behind me and have the best season throughout my career. I'm confident I'm heading in the right direction and don't need a title to contribute to my team."


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