Wellington: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum believes he’s backing a winning horse with his all-out attack approach to today’s World Cup quarter-final against the West Indies despite the high stakes involved.
New Zealand players during a training session ahead of their quarter-final match against West Indies in Wellington yesterday. Pic/AFP
A confident McCullum fronted the news media on the eve of the last-eight match in Wellington saying he had no fears his bold game plan, which took New Zealand through pool play unbeaten, could backfire in the knockout phase of the tournament. “We need to go out and play that attacking brand of cricket we have exhibited throughout,” he said.
“It doesn’t guarantee us success, and I have said that all the way along, but it definitely gives the team the best opportunity of being successful.” West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy has likened his side’s underdog status to that of boxer Buster Douglas who in 1990, as a 42-1 outsider, knocked out then undefeated heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. It was a metaphor that amused McCullum, who fired back with one of his own when questioned whether he would adopt a more conservative stance should the West Indies start strongly. “In horse racing parlance, I’m a big horse racing fan, if we miss the start, it doesn’t mean that we’re out of the race.
“I think the horse has never been better and we’ve got every chance in this game to be able to go out there and win, even if things aren’t 100 per cent. McCullum’s bold approach in the field, setting attacking fields for his bowlers has put Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Dan Vettori among the World Cup’s top wicket-takers.
New Zealand vs West Indies on Star Sports 1, 3, HD 1, HD 3, 06:30