ICC World Cup: Brendon McCullum hails bowlers, says batting must improve
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum says pacers Trent Boult and Tim Southee were 'outstanding' as they set up the team's victory by denting the Scotland batting line-up with their intimidating bowling
Dunedin: New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum says pacers Trent Boult and Tim Southee were "outstanding" as they set up the team's victory by denting the Scotland batting line-up with their intimidating bowling.
Boult was declared Man-of-the-Match for his two for 21 in six overs while Southee took two for 35 in his eight overs as they reduced Scotland to 12 for four inside five overs and eventually bowled them out for 142.
Brendon McCullum. Pic/ AFP
"They are world-class bowlers (Boult, Southee) and they have stood up for a long time in Test cricket for us. It is outstanding when you are able to win the toss, choose to bowl, and then be backed up," McCullum said after the match.
The Kiwi skipper though expressed worry on the batting front as they overhauled the target with 25.1 overs to spare but lost seven wickets in the process. "Credit to them (Scotland) for posting a good total that was tricky on this kind of surface. I am pleased with the result in the end, but we definitely showed nerves towards the end. We will take the result, and points from the game. Really good performance with the ball and in the field, but we need to improve on our batting," he said.
New Zealand take on England next on Friday in Wellington and for McCullum "it will be a great challenge" but he was confident of a good show. "The surfaces and conditions will change. We are going to have to play incredibly well. This is certainly the strongest side I have ever played in," he said.
Boult said the University Oval wicket was ideal for pace bowling and he looks forward to continue in the same fashion. "It felt pretty good. I thought the ball came out relatively nicely, plus the wicket assisted a bit too. Everyone contributed and we got the job done in the end. It did swing for a bit longer than expected, plus the pace was there," Boult said.
"Glad things fell into place though. Really enjoying my form with the white ball, and I continue to hope to make the most of the opportunities that come my way." Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said they were proud of the fight they put on defending a small total. "It showed that when we put the ball in the right areas we got our rewards. We are very proud of the fight we put up and the character these boys have shown. We are not shy of the fact that we are a very inexperienced team in World Cups. Glad to get this first one out of the way, and now we are ready for England," he said.
"It was a tough start for us as we were unfortunate to lose a few early ones, but credit to Machan and Richie for batting through that difficult period."