Filling McCullums' Boots in ODIs



  • 47 off 27 in his final ODI innings is a perfect example of why we will and won't miss Baz. Similarly, his innings in games 1 and 2 of this series were 28 and 44 at much better than a run a ball. These are great cameos but not great innings, particularly when you're batting first. A final career average a touch over 30 won't be missed. A career tally of five centuries - with three of those vs powerhouses Ireland, Canada and to a lesser extent Zimbabwe - won't be missed. As an ODI opener, aside from strike rate, I'm sure Tom Latham will eclipse McCullums' century stat and most likely set us up more often than McCullum was able to.
     
    But we will miss those cameos when we're chasing and need quick early runs to settle nerves and make things easier for the batsmen to follow. We saw this in great effect in the last World Cup in key games against Australia and SA. And we'll miss his innovative and super-aggressive captaincy. And his 100% commitment to every single ball in the field. And thinking back to his days as a 'keeper and lower order batsman, we've often missed his ability to close out an innings, particularly when chasing.
     
    I'll miss his charisma and the mana he seemed to bring to his role as skipper of the Black Caps. We last had that with Fleming and before him, not even Crowe, but Coney had it. It's a rare thing, not guaranteed by personal performances and clearly attainable by relatively mediocre players. Williamson could yet become a captain who as a player is a world-beater, but doesn't achieve icon status as a skipper, we'll see.
     
    But I want to discuss McCullums' role in the ODI team as a player and his replacement, and the possibilities that brings with it.
     
    Latham has been the man to fill in of late when Baz has been unavailable. He started off batting in whichever position was vacated, for his first couple of years in the side. But he's a genuine opener as demonstrated by his test performances, and an over-all ODI average of 29.58 deceives because when he opens he averages 39.07 and hit his first century just last year - vs Zimbabwe - as an opener. In fact all five of his fifty plus scores in ODIs have been made opening the innings. So he's certainly the heir apparent as an opener. The SR might only be mid 70s but given the way Guptill has blossomed the last 18 months or so, Latham can settle into the anchor role, no probs.
     
    An added benefit with Latham is he can keep wicket, and has done so already in ODIs. So at the very least we should take the opporunity to experiment with Latham as our limited overs 'keeper which means curtains for the out of form Luke Ronchi, who at almost 35 must surely be looking at the writing on the wall. Ronchi's batting position could be taken by Colin Munro, or Jimmy Neesham when he returns. Whomever is most successful could ultimately replace Grant Elliott at 5, OR this could open the path for Henry Nicholls to settle in at 5 because we'd have the extra all-rounder in the former 'keepers' spot.
     
    Latham opening and keeping wicket offers us tremendous opportunity to better balance the ODI side. Ironically, it could also mean an opening for Munro - the NZ limited overs cricketer whise game I feel most closely resembles McCullums' - in a 'finishers' role down at 7 doing the job that Baz did so well for a number of years.



  • The stats don't normally tell the story. But in Baz's case an average of 30 and 200 6s is pretty much bang on.



  • I actually think in terms of pure batting the guy coming in will be better. Baz has played some fantastic inning & been incredible to watch, but he is in effect a 30 off 20 pinch hitter. Afridi, Russell or Flintoff without the bowling.
     
    Latham already looks like he can be more of a 70 off 80 & maybe score 100's sort of player which I think is better in the current game. 
     
    NZ have tended to lose games recently not because we didn't get off to a flyer, but because one of our top order didn't bat thru, we've got a LOT of fire power right down, but are very dependant on Guppy or Kane (or to a lesser degree Taylor) going big.
     
    Really if we were looking for a like-for-like Baz replacement we'd pick Munro.



  • In Latham Nicholls and Munro we have some really good options



  • We'll actually probably end up more balanced as we will drop Ronchi & pick a genuine keeper / batsman to open (Latham / Watling) and a slogger who bowls a bit low down (Munro, Neesham)



  • I actually think in terms of pure batting the guy coming in will be better. Baz has played some fantastic inning & been incredible to watch, but he is in effect a 30 off 20 pinch hitter. Afridi, Russell or Flintoff without the bowling.
     
    Latham already looks like he can be more of a 70 off 80 & maybe score 100's sort of player which I think is better in the current game. 
     
    NZ have tended to lose games recently not because we didn't get off to a flyer, but because one of our top order didn't bat thru, we've got a LOT of fire power right down, but are very dependant on Guppy or Kane (or to a lesser degree Taylor) going big.
     
    Really if we were looking for a like-for-like Baz replacement we'd pick Munro.

    Lance Klusener could fit that bill too. As I think I mentioned on his retirement thread BMacs aura far exceeded his tangible results, somewhat like Beefy Botham if that makes sense.
     
    Our "firepower" down the order is still a bit hit or miss for my liking. Sure they did the biz against Pakistan but last nights low order hitting was diabolical. The BCs won which is great but everybody knows the team should have scored at least 50 more runs.



  • We'll actually probably end up more balanced as we will drop Ronchi & pick a genuine keeper / batsman to open (Latham / Watling) and a slogger who bowls a bit low down (Munro, Neesham)

    I agree but I just don't think Munro and Neesham are quite comparable.
     
    Having Latham at keeper and opener makes perfect sense. We aren't too strong with the openers and it means our lower order can be more balanced. If we pick Neesham, we can pick 3 quicks, Santner, Anderson and Neesham which gives us plenty of options. Then we can also just pick someone like Munro if we don't need the bowling so much. Other options to open would be guys like George Worker and he isn't a slogger anyway.



  • you'd have to think McCullums boots that need filling are more to do with the team, decisions and attitude he brings to the team rather than the average 30 runs off a little over 5 overs in a 1-Dayer.



  • I agree but I just don't think Munro and Neesham are quite comparable.
     
    Having Latham at keeper and opener makes perfect sense. We aren't too strong with the openers and it means our lower order can be more balanced. If we pick Neesham, we can pick 3 quicks, Santner, Anderson and Neesham which gives us plenty of options. Then we can also just pick someone like Munro if we don't need the bowling so much. Other options to open would be guys like George Worker and he isn't a slogger anyway.

    I like that bowling line up and it offers a nice 6,7,8 combo of CA, JN and MS all of whom have real talent. Given our lower order aren't mugs that to me looks a pretty solid middle-lower order.
     
    Only question I have is what is Lathams keeping like ?





  • you'd have to think McCullums boots that need filling are more to do with the team, decisions and attitude he brings to the team rather than the average 30 runs off a little over 5 overs in a 1-Dayer.

    That's true and I think McCullum will be a big loss in that regard. I think we are lucky that Williamson is somewhat experienced as a captain now.



  • Neesham. All very well and good - if we can get him on the park.
    Love the idea of Herb, him and Satnav at 6,7,8 though.
    But the chances of that happening on a regular basis are slim to fuck all, due to the fact at least one of them seems to be injured at any given time.
    Just throwing ideas around as a plan b, so doesn't mean I'd necessarily go for this, but any love out there to go like for like and pick a guy like Munro to open? Then have Latham/Watling at 7?



  • Cricinfo have done their usually in depth drill down into Baz
     



  • There's no way Latham keeps and opens. There's no way any sane thinking selection panel wants to muddy the role of their young test opener with ODI keeping distractions.
    He's already got a a full time job, and he needs to do a lot of work to get better at it.
    Giving him an ODI batting spot is another matter, could help polish some parts of his game.
    I would go: Watling at 5 for ODIs, Elliott shuffles on about now anyway (gets a bit messy if Eliott keeps aceing it) with hitters at 6 and 7 .
    I wouldn't want the same keeper in all 3 formats. I wouldn't want to mess with Watling's test game too much. Someone new keeps for T20s (de Boorder probably as filler for a few years). Edit. I'm talking post T20 world cup. For this tournament we are either stuck with Ronchi or draft in Watling. I wouldn't got too worked up about this one with it being in Asia plus Baz's poorly timed retirement.



  • An ODI average of 30.41 is clearly underwhelming in today's age: among the 42 batsmen who have scored at least 5000 ODI runs since 2000, only Shahid Afridi has a lower average.
    that is a damning stat



  • An ODI average of 30.41 is clearly underwhelming in today's age: among the 42 batsmen who have scored at least 5000 ODI runs since 2000, only Shahid Afridi has a lower average.
    that is a damning stat

    Worse when you recall Afridi also has 400 ODI wickets....



  • Who cares about stats, I know I don't. Sure I would've loved for him to stay down in our middle order where he could unleash, but because of a number of factors he played up the order.
    But for me Baz brought confidence, even a bit of swag to NZ cricket that IMO was much needed to get us through a transition period. To me that means more than any batting average or other stats. I thought he handled himself with great professionalism but took up any challenge with confidence and an attacking attitude. I think he is a big part of why the future looks tremendously bright for NZ cricket.



  • Who cares about stats, I know I don't. Sure I would've loved for him to stay down in our middle order where he could unleash, but because of a number of factors he played up the order.
    But for me Baz brought confidence, even a bit of swag to NZ cricket that IMO was much needed to get us through a transition period. To me that means more than any batting average or other stats. I thought he handled himself with great professionalism but took up any challenge with confidence and an attacking attitude. I think he is a big part of why the future looks tremendously bright for NZ cricket.
    I don't think anyone can argue that the Hesson McCullum partnership hasnt been a roaring success



  • I don't think anyone can argue that the Hesson McCullum partnership has been a roaring success

    You mean "hasn't" right?
     
    Tho' I'd argue its maybe more that the Boult-Kane-Taylor partnership has been the key to that success. Or even Edgar who was the guy who pushed through the best change in that period - select good players & then not drop them 2 games later. Consistency of selection has been a far bigger driver of our success than anything else.



  • You mean "hasn't" right?
     
    Tho' I'd argue its maybe more that the Boult-Kane-Taylor partnership has been the key to that success. Or even Edgar who was the guy who pushed through the best change in that period - select good players & then not drop them 2 games later. Consistency of selection has been a far bigger driver of our success than anything else.

    You can't stand any praise of McCullum or Hesson can you?
     
    So we didn't get much out of Hesson and Baz, because Edgar's selection strategies are BY FAR the biggest driver of our success?
     
    piffle
     
    Credit where it's due, the funny little fella pulling the strings and Baz's "back yourself" attitude has been the biggest differentiator of this team in my 40 years of watching them



  • You can't stand any praise of McCullum or Hesson can you?
     
    So we didn't get much out of Hesson and Baz, because Edgar's selection strategies are BY FAR the biggest driver of our success?
     
    piffle
     
    Credit where it's due, the funny little fella pulling the strings and Baz's "back yourself" attitude has been the biggest differentiator of this team in my 40 years of watching them

    Read the quote dumass. Canefan wrote "I don't think anyone can argue that the Hesson McCullum partnership has been a roaring success". IE its been shit. I was saying he was wrong in his phrasing. IE its HAS been a huge success.
     
    He then edited it to correct it.
     
    Ease up on the knee jerking there. I was pointing out an incorrect critism of Baz.



  • Credit where it's due, the funny little fella pulling the strings and Baz's "back yourself" attitude has been the biggest differentiator of this team in my 40 years of watching them

    Speaking about limited overs only the early 00s Black Caps teams (pre Bond even) performed just as well in the limited over forms of the game with significantly less talent (no bowlers at level of Southee and Boult, no batsmen at the level of Taylor or Williamson and according to our polls Guptill either apparently).
     
    Very tough to argue that Crowe's innovations with the 1992 team were less noticeable than whatever McCullum has done.
     
    I give McCullum a lot of credit for his approach and attitude - but I completely disagree that we haven't had swagger and confidence similar to this previously. We had swag in the 80s, we developed some under Rixon/Trist and there was certainly were at our peak under Braces leading up to the 2007 CWC. Biggest criticism would be the complete lack of captain's knocks and often tone deafnesses to the situation. The ultra aggressive nature helped us so often (usually when our backs were against the wall or we were front running) but at times the approach almost seemed insecure - specifically the CWC Final (and the dog's breakfast of a run chase in the earlier game vs Australia). Baz's three ball effort screamed "if I don't score a 40 ball hundred we aren't going to win this thing" - how much confidence and swagger does that really create for the team going forward?
     
    Baz was a mixed bag as a pure batsman and skipper, and for me as several have alluded earlier he was at his most valuable for us with the gloves and anchoring our lower order. He was truly phenomenal at that role and suited his temperament and skills perfectly. For all my criticism of his tone deafness recently opening - in the past when batting 6-8 he had one of the greatest senses of when to nerdle and when to hit out (and the ability to do both) - seriously next level under Michael Bevan. Best we've had for sure, he was there for many of our greatest chases.



  • My dumbass read this quote, about selection. I thought it a bit well... wrong:

    Or even Edgar who was the guy who pushed through the best change in that period - select good players & then not drop them 2 games later. Consistency of selection has been a far bigger driver of our success than anything else.



  • I think Baz's leadership has been excellent. His captaincy as Rotated notes is very one pace, Crowe & Fleming were more astute captains for mine, but he has been an excellent leader. Players are inspirede by him & want to follow him. there's a touch of Richie or Fitzy there in that regard.
     
    But the core reasons for the last 2 years has been 2 of our top 5 ever batsmen (across all formats, what Ross lacks in tests re top 5 he makes up in ODI's & T20), one of our top 5 ever bowlers & another right up there, & the tail end of our greatest ever spinner. Swap out Kane & Ross for Styris & McMillian & that team is a mile of. Or slot Boult into Fleming's team & that side is pushing everyone. Or swap out Rutherford for Kane & Crowes team is outstanding.
     
    And the selection. I think folks have very short memories re the selectorial farce that was NZ cricket, guys dropped & picked over & over, players moved around all over the place. We probably had more openers in the few years prior to Edgar than we have had batsman in the Edgar years. Even the failures (Rutherford) were given a really good chance.
     
    Good leadership & great environment are very important, but talent & selection are far more vital.
     
    Aussie under Bucannan had a coach who was openly ignored & who's "culture" was derided by his top players, while the captain (Ponting) was awful. Players openly loathed each other. Yet the quality of the players & the selection were amazing. So were the results.
     
    Baz has been a great leader, really inspirational. Our best ever T20 player, our best ever ODI keeper. And he's led a genuinely top drawer team.
     
    But just as the people who disliked him tried to pretend he's stabbed Taylor & got shot down for bullshit, people like Ian Smith who seem to think his load cures mouth cancer need to take a step back too.



  • And the selection. I think folks have very short memories re the selectorial farce that was NZ cricket, guys dropped & picked over & over, players moved around all over the place. We probably had more openers in the few years prior to Edgar than we have had batsman in the Edgar years. Even the failures (Rutherford) were given a really good chance.

    I get your point that many variables have aligned, and it's a true one well made. 
     
    Funnily enough over the last 12-18 months, team selection has been anything but consistent. Nearly everyone has been in and out with similar regularity as in the chaotic years.
     
    Rotation has been rife
     
    A good batch at the moment or good development by the coaching staff?



  • A good batch at the moment or good development by the coaching staff?

    It gets clouded on coaching too as Guppy & Taylor have been coached by Crowe - Taylor almost entirely avoiding using Hesson. Kane has had Moxon & Gillespie working with him at Yorkshire a lot more than any NZ coach - same guys working with Joe Root not surprisingly. 
     
    I would guess the difference between Hesson & a control freak like Bracewell or Turner would be if a player wants to work with Crowe, or Moxon, or anyone really & it works for them Hesson would be cool with that.

    Funnily enough over the last 12-18 months, team selection has been anything but consistent. Nearly everyone has been in and out with similar regularity as in the chaotic years.

    Difference is its mostly the same 16 or 17. So a guy has been dropped (eg Elliot) but he's still be around the squad, next cab etc. In the past we could have a guy who was starting, then seemingly 5th choice. Look at a guy like Wagner. He's been axed a lot, but he knows he is probably our 5th choice quick. And has been in that grouping for 3 years.
     
    In the last 3 years only 3 batsmen have played less than 10 tests (Guppy, Brownlie, Redmond). The 3 years before that it was 9. Rutherford (16) & Fulton (13) got a decent go at opening. Mckintosh, Ingram & Flynn didn't get 13 between them



  • There's no way Latham keeps and opens. There's no way any sane thinking selection panel wants to muddy the role of their young test opener with ODI keeping distractions.
    He's already got a a full time job, and he needs to do a lot of work to get better at it.
    Giving him an ODI batting spot is another matter, could help polish some parts of his game.
    I would go: Watling at 5 for ODIs, Elliott shuffles on about now anyway (gets a bit messy if Eliott keeps aceing it) with hitters at 6 and 7 .
    I wouldn't want the same keeper in all 3 formats. I wouldn't want to mess with Watling's test game too much. Someone new keeps for T20s (de Boorder probably as filler for a few years). Edit. I'm talking post T20 world cup. For this tournament we are either stuck with Ronchi or draft in Watling. I wouldn't got too worked up about this one with it being in Asia plus Baz's poorly timed retirement.

    Quite simply, I think you'll be proven wrong there. Perhaps not immediately, but without doubt in the medium term and on. It'll only take a season of Latham bedding in before he's given the gloves.



  • An ODI average of 30.41 is clearly underwhelming in today's age: among the 42 batsmen who have scored at least 5000 ODI runs since 2000, only Shahid Afridi has a lower average.
    that is a damning stat

    Hogwash. BMac spent a lot of his time batting down the order where averages aren't the measure of success - in fact the guy who comes in at 7 determined to get a not out is a liability.
     
    Whether you agree with the tactic or not, BMac was used in the first 10 overs to take advantage of the fielding restrictions - hence why his strike rate was 150 in recent times. However while that will work spectacularly at times, it will also fail fairly often as well. That tactic helped to win the semi-final and helped to lose the final.
     
    I might sound grumpy but the obsession with averages in this forum irks me!



  • Hogwash. BMac spent a lot of his time batting down the order where averages aren't the measure of success - in fact the guy who comes in at 7 determined to get a not out is a liability.
     
    Whether you agree with the tactic or not, BMac was used in the first 10 overs to take advantage of the fielding restrictions - hence why his strike rate was 150 in recent times. However while that will work spectacularly at times, it will also fail fairly often as well. That tactic helped to win the semi-final and helped to lose the final.
     
    I might sound grumpy but the obsession with averages in this forum irks me!

    Mark me down as an average obsessive KiwiPie, they do tell a hell of a lot.....but yeah not the whole story when you dig deep in some cases. Some guys are plainly "better" than their averages, I put McCullum in this category. Some as you allude to get either with luck and/or design get a big average from a lot of not outs. Our own Dan Vettori went from someone who could hold a bat to probably our best batsman for a period but his overall career average was never gonna go far north of 30 based on his early inconsistency. Viv Richards and Brian Lara are both better than their averages suggest ( if that can be said of guys averaging 50 and 52 respectively ) and they had the amazing auras to match....and there's a few guys averaging 50 odd in todays game who in no way are "greats"
     
    That all made more sense in my head than it does actually written down.



  • Hogwash. BMac spent a lot of his time batting down the order where averages aren't the measure of success - in fact the guy who comes in at 7 determined to get a not out is a liability.
     
    Whether you agree with the tactic or not, BMac was used in the first 10 overs to take advantage of the fielding restrictions - hence why his strike rate was 150 in recent times. However while that will work spectacularly at times, it will also fail fairly often as well. That tactic helped to win the semi-final and helped to lose the final.
     
    I might sound grumpy but the obsession with averages in this forum irks me!

    averaged just under 33 as an opener, which is better but it is not as if his average was massively changed from his time down the order.
    i didn't mind him going the smash with fielding restrictions on at all, it was the lack of ability to adjust if conditions didn't suit - meaning an early wicket a la WC final - or to reduce risks just a touch once the damage had been done. he seemed to always be looking for that one-off total of 500 when instead he could have got us to 360-odd heaps of times, and consequently won us more games.
     
    my opinion is that this is simply the best overall group of players we've ever had, and that that is by far the main driver of our success; having a 'follow-me' type captain who encourages everyone to have a crack and have faith in their ability has undoubtedly helped young players come in to the team and be effective immediately, but it is very difficult to say how much.



  • The forum hardly has an obsession with averages. It is just the case that a player's average is the best way we have of measuring performance. A player like Guptill who averages 40 with a decent strike rate just has to be selected every time over a player who averages 30, whatever their strike rate. What are people who don't like stats saying? How should we measure performance? Basically, humans have all sorts of biases that come into play if you are just going on visual perception. The fact is that McCullum averaged 31 as a batsman and that is well below what you would call an average average in ODI cricket these days. Most of the time it was good enough to make the New Zealand team. When he was wicket keeper, it was good enough to be our best ever keeper-batsman.
     
    The solution to bad stats is better stats, rather than no stats.



  • That tactic helped to win the semi-final and helped to lose the final.

    If only the notion of a match winning 50 was around in Fleming's day - he would have been lauded just as much. His top score of 48 chasing 200 against the Aussies in the 2003 CWC now looks like an all time knock.
     
    It's a fallacy to say that McCullum was boom or bust as an opener. Things very rarely went "spectacularly" for him. How many match winning innings did he play at the top of the order against genuine opposition? I have one against Pakistan in the UAE a few years ago but that's it. Best case scenario was a 70 or 80 odd and chipping out to a garbage shot - that's why in that semi many called for him to slow the fuck down and tick the score along after hitting 50. Others point out that if it had come off he would have hit a match winning hundred - but we never saw evidence in his career he could bat long periods so recklessly like Sehwag, Warner, De Villiers and frankly Guptill.
     
    edit: this isn't a slight at McCullum he still had a valuable and important role and definitely contributed positively to that win.  But like the Sri Lankan 1996 top order he was playing a Kaluwitharana role and I felt with the right application he had the ability to do much more (not to mention I don't believe captains should play that role).



  • averaged just under 33 as an opener, which is better but it is not as if his average was massively changed from his time down the order.
    i didn't mind him going the smash with fielding restrictions on at all, it was the lack of ability to adjust if conditions didn't suit - meaning an early wicket a la WC final - or to reduce risks just a touch once the damage had been done. he seemed to always be looking for that one-off total of 500 when instead he could have got us to 360-odd heaps of times, and consequently won us more games.
     
    my opinion is that this is simply the best overall group of players we've ever had, and that that is by far the main driver of our success; having a 'follow-me' type captain who encourages everyone to have a crack and have faith in their ability has undoubtedly helped young players come in to the team and be effective immediately, but it is very difficult to say how much.

    Comparing him to Gilchrist who was in a similar mode as an opener - Gilly averaged 36.5 as an opener with a SR of 98, BMac averaged 33 with a SR of 103. And many people would have Gilly opening in their all time ODI XI. I was as frustrated as you by the fact that BMac always seemed to get out just when the bowling was on its knees but you don't get such a high strike rate without taking chances. His strike rate since he moved to opener again in 2014 is 155 at an average of 32.7. Jayasuriya averaged 34.6 as an opener at an SR of 92.5, another similar player.
     
    Where BMac fell down against the other 2 is not in the number of starts he would get - he was good at getting a start - but in converting to a bigger score which the other 2 did much more often.
     
    Gilchrist Opening - passed 50 26.6%
    Jayasuriya - 24.5%
    BMac - 21.5%
     
    Having typed all that I'm not even sure what my conclusion is - other than BMac wasn't as good as Gilchrist and Jayasuriya but wasn't all that far behind them.



  • If only the notion of a match winning 50 was around in Fleming's day - he would have been lauded just as much. His top score of 48 chasing 200 against the Aussies in the 2003 CWC now looks like an all time knock.
     
    It's a fallacy to say that McCullum was boom or bust as an opener. Things very rarely went "spectacularly" for him. How many match winning innings did he play at the top of the order against genuine opposition? I have one against Pakistan in the UAE a few years ago but that's it. Best case scenario was a 70 or 80 odd and chipping out to a garbage shot - that's why in that semi many called for him to slow the fuck down and tick the score along after hitting 50. Others point out that if it had come off he would have hit a match winning hundred - but we never saw evidence in his career he could bat long periods so recklessly like Sehwag, Warner, De Villiers and frankly Guptill.
     
    edit: this isn't a slight at McCullum he still had a valuable and important role and definitely contributed positively to that win.  But like the Sri Lankan 1996 top order he was playing a Kaluwitharana role and I felt with the right application he had the ability to do much more (not to mention I don't believe captains should play that role).

    Are you saying that NZ would have chased down SA in that semi-final (298 at almost 7 an over) without BMac's 59 off 26 balls? He used up just over 4 overs to knock it down by 59, that is astonishing hitting. and when he was out the asking rate was just over 6. I'm not saying his innings was the only factor but it enabled Elliott and Anderson to take their time when the pressure was on.



  • The forum hardly has an obsession with averages. It is just the case that a player's average is the best way we have of measuring performance. A player like Guptill who averages 40 with a decent strike rate just has to be selected every time over a player who averages 30, whatever their strike rate. What are people who don't like stats saying? How should we measure performance? Basically, humans have all sorts of biases that come into play if you are just going on visual perception. The fact is that McCullum averaged 31 as a batsman and that is well below what you would call an average average in ODI cricket these days. Most of the time it was good enough to make the New Zealand team. When he was wicket keeper, it was good enough to be our best ever keeper-batsman.
     
    The solution to bad stats is better stats, rather than no stats.

    Averages are fine for test cricket, become less important in ODIs and are almost irrelevant in T20s. What is important is measuring whether the player does the job well according to the situation they are faced with. Williamson has a fine ODI average now, it would be even better if he kept pushing singles when he got to the 40th over and finished 120 not out instead of hitting out and getting out for 90. Which statistic do I look at for that factor?



  • Look at the opposition and the crowds reaction whenever he got out for a good gauge on how "good" he was



  • Are you saying that NZ would have chased down SA in that semi-final (298 at almost 7 an over) without BMac's 59 off 26 balls? He used up just over 4 overs to knock it down by 59, that is astonishing hitting. and when he was out the asking rate was just over 6. I'm not saying his innings was the only factor but it enabled Elliott and Anderson to take their time when the pressure was on.

    As I said
     
    this isn't a slight at McCullum he still had a valuable and important role and definitely contributed positively to that win.
     
    I simply saying that I struggle to find a batting captain in the history of ODI cricket who is praised so regularly for 50s and getting the job half done (not to mention the method of his dismissals). Fleming was derided for similar innings (albeit at a slower pace but more runs in a different era) and I do not remember the likes of Steve Waugh being praised for such innings either. I'm happy to be wrong but I genuinely cannot recall another batting captain who is given that much slack in the ODI game.
     
    Specifically for that game and that innings it was certainly a vital contribution, however at the time trying to hit a bowler of Steyn's quality out of the attack was a fools errand. Steyn was going to be persevered with and bowled on his own schedule such was his quality. I think Guppy's innings in the QF showed an alternate template for how McCullum could have structured his innings without getting out ahead of the run rate.



  • Quite simply, I think you'll be proven wrong there. Perhaps not immediately, but without doubt in the medium term and on. It'll only take a season of Latham bedding in before he's given the gloves.

    Do you mean he becomes an ODI regular batsman now Baz retires, and after a season he is also given ODI keeping?
    Yes, that's a conceivable scenario.
    But I still don't see it as likely. The ODI keeping gap is now, not 12 months away.
    I just don't see Hesson weakening one relative strength (which has a huge gap to the next best) to tinker with a non-critical weakness in the ODI team which has other options. Plus there are about 6 or 7 better keepers than him on the provincial scene.
    Latham hasn't kept at any level since he became test opener. He's been given a clear role and message. They won't fuck with that.



  • Still, Latham has kept in ODI, List A and First Class cricket. And not that long ago. He's more than capable so I can see it happening sooner rather than later. It's another BJ Watling situation. Be interesting to see when the selectors lose faith in Ronchi.



  • Still, Latham has kept in ODI, List A and First Class cricket. And not that long ago. He's more than capable so I can see it happening sooner rather than later. It's another BJ Watling situation. Be interesting to see when the selectors lose faith in Ronchi.

    Somewhat amusingly the commentators have been saying he ( Ronchi ) is "due a big one" everytime he goes out to bat.
     
    I don't think that big one will ever happen.


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