With New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum announcing that he will retire next year, in February, after the home series against Australia, we look at some interesting facts and figures on the swashbuckling batsman.
McCullum was born on September 27, 1981 at Dunedin in Otago.
Apart from playing for New Zealand, he has represented many domestic teams like Canterbury, Brisbane Heat, Chennai Super Kings, Glamorgan, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Kolkata Knight Riders, New South Wales, Otago, Sussex and Warwickshire.
Brendon’s father, Stuart, played first class cricket for Otago while cricket fans would be aware that his brother Nathan had a decent career with the Kiwi side as a spinning all-rounder.
Brendon made his ODI debut against Australia at Sydney in January 2002. He was run out for five in the match.
Brendon’s Test debut came against New Zealand at Hamilton in March 2004. He made an impressive 57 on Test debut, and added an unbeaten 19 in the second innings, opening the batting.
His T20 debut was against Australia at Auckland in February 2005. McCullum made an impressive 36 from 24 at the top of the innings, with five fours and a six. Australia, however, went on to win the match with ease, by 44 runs.
Brendon is just one short of 100 Test matches. In 99 games, he has scored 6273 runs at an average of 38.48 with 11 hundreds and 31 fifties. For someone known for his aggressive style of play, Brendon has a surprisingly low strike rate of 63.7 in Tests. But that, in a sense, also shows that he values his wicket.
His highest Test score of 302 came against India at Wellington in February 2014. Brendon batted for 559 balls and smashed 32 fours and 4 sixes in his 775-minute stay at the crease.
Knowing for his penchant for big-hitting, Brendon has slammed 751 fours and exactly 100 sixes in Test matches. Behind the stumps, he added value to the side, with 194 catches and 11 stumpings, before giving up the responsibility to concentrate on his batting.
In ODIs, Brendon has so far represented the country in 254 games, and has 5909 runs to his name at an average of 30.30 with five hundreds and 31 fifties. His highest one-day score of 166 came against Ireland at Aberdeen in July 2008. During his game, he featured in a record opening stand of 274 with James Marshall.
In the T20 format, Brendon has played 71 games, and has scored 2140 runs with 2 hundreds and 13 fifties, at an impressive average of 35.66. It is his strike rate that stands out in this format – 136.2.
As leader, Brendon has led New Zealand in 13 unbeaten Tests at home. Overall, they were unbeaten in seven consecutive Test series’, till Australia recently got the better of them.
It was under Brendon’s inspirational captaincy that New Zealand reached their first World Cup final this year.
He will finish his career at Christchurch, with the second Test against Australia, which begins on February 20.
--By A Cricket Correspondent