Brendon McCullum was out for his first duck of the tournament © Getty Images
Brendon McCullum was out for his first duck of the tournament © Getty Images

New Zealand were bowled out for 183 in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Final against Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Brendon McCullum was dismissed for a three-ball duck. Although he rarely sticks around without going ballistic in the initial stages, Pramod Ananth feels that he could have been a bit more cautious considering that it was a big occasion for the team and the entire nation. Scorecard: Australia vs New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 final

Australia were rampant throughout the match as they did not allow New Zealand to get on top for long. Grant Elliott and Ross Taylor put on 111 for the fourth wicket, which was the only highlight in an otherwise dim outing for the Black Caps. Brendon McCullum has been dominant throughout the tournament with his quick-fire fifties at the top. But he did not even manage to put bat on ball in this very brief innings. Live Updates: Australia vs New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Final

Martin Guptill had taken a single off the second delivery of the first over, which brought McCullum on strike for the first time. Starc decided that he would bowl full, just outside off stump. McCullum swung hard and missed his first delivery comprehensively. One got the feeling that he will try the shot again and that’s exactly what he did. Starc bowled one around the leg stump this time, and McCullum charged down the wicket as the ball narrowly missed the stumps. Starc was on fire and his 20 wickets prior to this match in the tournament proves that he was amongst the best. Top 10 batsmen in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

The next one was once again pitched a touch outside off. McCullum missed the drive, and the ball crashed into the off stump, bringing the curtain down on McCullum’s World Cup campaign as a batsman. The Australians were overjoyed as they knew getting rid of McCullum so early in the match will prove vital in the end. Top 10 bowlers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Considering the sheer magnitude of the match, McCullum should have hung around a little bit longer. Granted that that has never been his style, but he failed to lead from the front and get his side off to a good start. The sensible thing at that time could have been to get bat on ball and get a single, regroup and look to go for big shots a little later when the initial onslaught from the bowlers had died down. Top 10 fielders in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Instead, his wicket put pressure on the middle-order, who were more or less used to consolidating the innings after McCullum had gotten them off to a bright start. Top 10 wicketkeepers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

It is never good to depend on a particular player, but the batsmen were accustomed to it and did not have a platform to build on. Though McCullum failed to make an impact with the bat, he will hope that he has an impact as a captain. New Zealand do not have many runs on the board to defend, but the least they can do at this stage is try. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Complete Coverage

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)