McCullum expects World Cup run-fest to continue


The World Cup has already proved a run-fest, with all six matches so far producing innings scores of 300 or more, and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is expecting the big totals to continue.

Among the favourites to win the World Cup, New Zealand piled on a first innings total of 331 to win their opener against Sri Lanka comfortably in Christchurch.

McCullum believes the runs will flow again in Dunedin on Tuesday, when the co-hosts play minnows Scotland at University Oval in Dunedin.

“We’ve seen already that the wickets in both Australia and New Zealand are pure wickets, so it allows good ball-striking and high scores to unfold,” he told reporters in Dunedin on Saturday.

“What that does is then, I guess, from a bowling point of view, you’ve got to make sure that when you have the opportunity you can attack because wickets are so key.

“But geez, 14 off an over could actually be a good over in the grand scheme of things. You’ve just got to mitigate against those 25, 26, 27‑run overs, and that’s the message which we keep talking about as well, because 300 is chaseable, 400 isn’t.”

Australia posted a near-record 342 at the sprawling Melbourne Cricket Ground in beating England in their opener on Saturday and University Oval’s close boundaries are likely to come under assault from the likes of McCullum.

Dunedin-born McCullum knows the ground well, having played home games for Otago there, and was relishing the thought of returning to his old stomping ground.

“I live in Christchurch, obviously, and we had a special win there the other day, and now to play in Dunedin, which I still very much consider my hometown, is going to be really special, a special time,” he said.

“I’ve still got lots of friends here and be nice to be able to make a contribution in front of them, as well.” (Reuters)