On a gloomy day in Sharjah, a sombre Brendon McCullum played one of the most entertaining Test knocks ever. The agony of Phillip Hughes’ tragic demise was clearly visible on his face and also from his body language, but his bat was aggressive as ever. He smashed Pakistan’s bowlers all around the mark and scored 202 runs off 188 balls at a strike-rate 107.44.
Before the start of the day’s play, after reading out New Zealand Cricket Team’s message to Phillip Hughes’ family, McCullum said, “Cricket is secondary in circumstances like this.”
It’s true that in the current climate of agony and respect it’s very difficult for anybody to take notice of what’s happening in the actual. But, Brendon McCullum’s innings made people take notice of the game again as he smashed fours and sixes all around the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
With typically aggressive stroke play and astute shot selection, Brendon McCullum flogged the Pakistan bowling.
McCullum reached his century in 78 balls, the fastest by a New Zealand batsman. He was well supported by Kane Williamson, who batted brilliantly and missed his double century by just 3 runs.
McCullum started his innings very aggressively and played his shots right from the first over. McCullum took a special looking to Zulfiqar Babar and smashed 30 runs in his first 3 overs. He was equally brutal against the fast bowler and leg spinner Yasir Shah.
McCullum kept going even after his hundred and scored a blazing double hundred off just 186 balls, becoming the fourth fastest of all time. Brendon McCullum also became only the fourth player to score three double hundreds in a year; Don Bradman, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are the other three. Throughout his innings, Brendon McCullum did not celebrate any of the landmarks.
McCullum, who became the only Kiwi batsman to score four double hundreds, smashed 22 fours and 11 sixes in his innings and showed no mercy towards Pakistani bowlers. He stepped down fearlessly down the track and dispatched sixes with utmost ease. He also played some brilliant pull shots whenever the Pakistani bowlers bowled short deliveries.
We are all still mourning Phillip Hughes’ tragic death and it will take some time to come terms with the fact that Phil is no more. But, this brilliant knock by Brendon McCullum reminded cricket fans that even in times of utter despair, cricket can fight like few other things can.
By The Cricket Lounge