S. Ram Mahesh

Irfan Pathan bowled outstandingly well at the end

Wellington: Brendon McCullum is seen as a gold-plated superstar in New Zealand. Over the Twenty20 series against India, he has shown just why, guiding New Zealand to successive victories by batting through the innings.

His role in the last-ball finish on Friday was particularly impressive.

“I’d have hoped we could have won the game a lot earlier than that, he said. But Pathan bowled outstandingly at the end.

“I had to try something different. That’s why I came down the wicket in the last two or three balls, so I could put him under a little bit of pressure. You always hope you get some release with a boundary, and thankfully we were able to do that at the end.”

Was his heart in the mouth when the last ball barely cleared mid-off?

“Yeah, I thought I hit it straight up and it would have been disappointing to bat through the innings and not have won the game,” he said.

Measured approach

Brendon McCullum said the more measured approach seen this series was a consequence of not hitting the ball as well as likes to. “Last year I was in a pretty good vein of form and things happened a little bit differently than this year. I’m probably not hitting the ball as well as what I have been.”

Which of his half-centuries gave him greater satisfaction?

“Tonight was more satisfying for me than the other night though any time you finish a game for your country you are incredibly satisfied.

Today was just a little bit better in how I got my runs. I was a little more aggressive up front and was able to work around through the middle and try and create some partnerships.”

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