Home > News >

Brendon McCullum relieved his decision to not enforce follow-on against India paid off

Brendon-McCullum-poses-for-the-camera-during-the-New-Zealand-Cricket-Headshots-at-Lords-on-May-13-2
Brendon McCullum scored 224 in the first innings against India © Getty Images

Auckland: Feb 9, 2014

New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum was a relieved man after his decision not to enforce follow-on did not lead to his team’s defeat against India in the first cricket Test, which the hosts won by 40 runs to go 1-0 up in the two-match series on Sunday.

“We thought we have a big total and if we bowl well, that would be enough runs. We know the quality of their batsmen and how they are capable of putting together big scores and big partnerships. At one stage, when they were sitting 220 for 2, we were starting to get ourselves behind the eight-ball and it took something special to get us out of that. We respect the Indian team a lot for what they have done and where they sit in the world rankings and that’s what makes this victory so special,” McCullum said at the post-match press conference.

New Zealand scored 503 runs in their first innings and then were shot out for just 105 after not enforcing the follow-on when they had bowled India out for just 202 runs. It was a decision that nearly came back to haunt them. India came really close to pull off a sensational victory before falling short of the target.

“You cannot regret any decision and when you make that decision, you put some thought into it. Ultimately someone has got to make that decision and I guess that comes down to me. I made the decision and I never regretted it for a moment.

There’s no guarantee we would have bowled out India for 100 in their second innings and I said right at the outset that we have got the bowlers to take 20 wickets. I would hate to see us chase 150-200 on the last day on that wicket with Ravindra Jadeja coming in to play,” said McCullum .

The skipper said he still thought the 407-run target was a big enough total for the Indians.

“After we decided not to enforce the follow on, we hoped to get a little more than a 100 in our second innings. But that’s what we got and I still thought 400 was a very good target. There are only three teams in the history of the game that have chased over 400. It was still a lot of runs on the board but the wicket was starting to play pretty well as well, so it was always going to be a tough ask and we knew that it was going to be a close contest towards the end,” said McCullum.

McCullum rated his double-hundred in the first innings as the best knock he has ever played.

“It’s definitely the best innings I have played for New Zealand, now that we have gone on and won the Test match. It was a gripping Test match. Whilst we did not ram home the advantage we had in the second innings with the bat, we showed a lot of heart and a lot of character today to continue to bash away and keep fighting hard and get the result in the end,” said an elated McCullum.

McCullum admitted that New Zealand got away after India were placed at 220 for two was because Neil Wagner came up trumps with figures of 4 for 62.

“Wagner epitomises everything we want to be known for as a team, how aggressive he is, how hostile he is when he has got the ball in hand and how big his heart is as well. He bowled 10 overs into the wind late on day four which is no easy feat and it allowed Tim [Southee] and Trent [Boult] to have some decent downtime leading into that new ball.

“He has bowled like that for us now for 12-18 months and he has not always got the rewards but he has been an integral part of a jigsaw that we talk about as well. It was just nice today for a guy like that to get the rewards as well and the accolades that follow,” said McCullum, praising his match-winning bowler.

The defeat means that India will travel to Wellington for the second Test match, without having won a single game on the tour so far. It will be their last chance to do so.

“We have expected India to come hard at us in every game and they certainly have not disappointed. They keep putting us under pressure and thankfully we are answering those pressure situations at the moment.

“But we know India are a very proud team and well led by MS[Dhoni]. We know he is a very proud man and he will make sure that they rally together and hit us hard in Wellington. I think we saw that with the way they bowled in the second innings they could easily have drifted along and let the game peter out. But they hit us hard and put us under immense pressure and I expect them to do the same in the second Test,”  signed off McCullum.

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

Akshar Patel picked far too early for Test cricket

Live Cricket Score Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Round 3, Day 2 — All matches: Yuvraj Singh scores 2nd century in his 2nd Ranji game this season

Shahid Afridi, please do not take the innocence away from cricket

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Is Jason Holder a captain or a stooge?

Can Eoin Morgan change England’s limited-overs fortunes?

Australia India Interviews Moments in history Ricky Ponting

ICC World Cup 2015: Punter ejection in Big Bash League puts organisers on high alert

India vs Australia 2014-15: DRS can be used in event of “howlers”, says Ravi Shastri

India vs Australia 2014-15: VVS Laxman preferred Pragyan Ojha as Ravindra Jadeja’s replacement

BCCI Vice-President Sneh Bansal asked to resign over financial irregularities

Ranji Trophy 2014-15: Gautam Gambhir wants venue of next Delhi game shifted to Ahmedabad

Akshar Patel picked far too early for Test cricket

ICC World Cup 2015: Will India’s trend of performing against expectations continue?

Moin Khan: Pakistan must carry momentum in ICC World Cup 2015

West Indies tour of South Africa 2014-15: One-sided encounters may suck interest out of series

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Can Australia make it 12 wins in a row at home?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

683 Posts | 6 Fans

Mitchell Johnson's 37 wickets against England in Ashes 2013-14

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here