Former New Zealand wicket-keeper-captain Brendon McCullum has lashed out at his successor Kane Williamson over his strategy in the on-going second Test match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Trailing the series 0-1, the Kiwis came hard at the hosts after Williamson won the toss and elected to field. But after taking a couple of early wickets, New Zealand could not capitalize and allowed Tim Paine’s side to post a massive total of 467 on Day 2.
After Steve Smith (85) and Marnus Labuschagne (63) dominated the Boxing Day to bring Australia back on track, Travis Head (114) and Paine (79) built on the platform to take Australia to a strong position. In reply to their big first-innings total, New Zealand lost two early wickets, including that of Williamson (9). The Kangaroos hammered their opponents by 296 runs in the first Test in Perth which was a Day-night one.
Kane Williamson’s strategy was submissive: Brendon McCullum
According to McCullum, Williamson adopted a submissive strategy that allowed the Kiwis to cede the early advantage. He was particularly disappointed with Williamson tossing the ball to Tom Blundell, a batsman who bowled for the first time in international cricket, right after lunch on Day 2. The captain did not bowl Mitchell Santner but gave the ball to someone who has just one first-class wicket in order to give his pacers some rest in hot conditions.
Blundell bowled three overs in which he gave 13 runs but did not pick any wicket. He was withdrawn thereafter but Head and Paine, who added 150 runs for the sixth wicket, were settled by then and took the score beyond 400.
“I think it’s been a pretty poor session. I don’t understand some of the tactics to be honest,” Brendon McCullum told the local SEN Radio. “It’s just staggering. By all means, have a blast, but the game was still in the balance. “To me, it was a submissive move [to bowl Blundell at the start of the session]. I just don’t understand it. They just rolled over,” McCullum added.
In terms of Test captaincy, Williamson has a better record than McCullum with 16 wins, seven losses and six draws in 29 games. McCullum, who was Williamson’s immediate predecessor, led in 31 Tests but could win only 11, lost also 11 and drew nine.
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