Cricket: 'We were a bit too keen in Wellington'

By David Leggat

Brendon McCullum wants his New Zealand team to get back to what has worked for them in his time in charge. Photo / Getty Images.
Brendon McCullum wants his New Zealand team to get back to what has worked for them in his time in charge. Photo / Getty Images.

Brendon McCullum wants his New Zealand team to get back to what has worked for them in his time in charge.

On the eve of his final match for his country, McCullum reflected on a performance at the Basin Reserve in the first test against Australia which was not the type what he wanted to see.

New Zealand had been a bit too keen, bit too anxious and got bitten to the tune of an innings and 52-run defeat.

''We've talked among the group and thought we were a bit too keen in the last test. The focus is to get back to what's worked for us in the last three years, play with a lot of enthusiasm, play with a smile on the face and try and seize the key moments when they arrive.

''And try not to put too much pressure on ourselves," he added.

McCullum confirmed in-form Canterbury seamer Matt Henry will replace the injured Doug Bracewell and a decision had yet to be made on whether to retain offspinner Mark Craig, who has been dealt to severely by Australia in the last four test clashes this summer, or bring in bustling left armer Neil Wagner.

On the eve of his 101st and final test, McCullum wasn't of a mind to reflect on how his career has played out.

''The time for that will be post-test. At the moment I'm just focusing on enjoying my last test with the boys and make sure we play in a manner in which we've been able to perform in the last three years.

''It's going to be special playing in Christchurch (where he lives) and against a very good Australian team. There's a lot to look forward to."

McCullum acknowledged the fact his final appearance will be in the city which has become home is special, plus the earthquake effect.

''To be able to do it in the home town, there's element of romance as well. Hopefully we get the right result then go down to local pub for a few beers."

Thursday night's mild aftershock was a reminder, not that it was needed, of the problems which have faced the people of Christchurch, and McCullum is cognisant of that.

''We had just a little reminder of what Christchurch can serve up from an earthquake point of view in the past week.

''That's the beauty of sport sometimes, you give the people of Christchurch the ability to get out and support their team and enjoy the occasion rather than worrying too much about things rocking and rolling."

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