International Cricket

Brendon McCullum’s prediction: ‘I firmly believe that Test cricket won't be around in time’

The evolution of T20 cricket, the former New Zealand skipper said, will end the oldest format of the game.

Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum reckons that the evolution of Twenty20 will bring an end to Test cricket.

Speaking to Tim Wigmore in an interview to The Cricket Monthly, McCullum said, “I firmly believe that Test cricket won’t be around in time, because there’s only so many teams that can afford to play it. And whilst we all adore Test cricket, and for me it is the purest form of the game - I’m loyal to it - I’m also a realist that people are turning up and watching T20.”

McCullum said that in time franchises over the world would own cricketers and might not release them to play for their countries in Tests.

Despite being a superstar in T20 cricket, McCullum became one of New Zealand’s revered players in Tests. The 302 (off 559 balls) he made against India to save a match and the 79-ball 145 (in which he broke the record for the fastest Test ton) against Australia are among the most memorable innings in Tests. In the shortest format, too, McCullum’s played innings that won’t be hard to recall – the most famous of them the 158 he scored for Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural IPL match.

McCullum conceded that he’s a guy who tries to play special innings and not fret doing well on a regular basis. “I was always one of those guys who was chasing the special innings rather than necessarily trying to be a consistent cricketer,” he said. “T20 asks you to travel at such a speed. You’ve got to push the envelope constantly, and then sometimes when you push the envelope, you realise there’s certain shots which you incorporate in different games.”

Baz, as he is called, spoke about explosive T20 batting requires batsmen these days to counter what is conventionally considered as cricketing logic. He said aspects like rotating strike after hitting a boundary, and playing the ball rather than the bowler, are not very helpful in the shortest format.

“You have opportunities through a T20 game - and it might be in the fifth, sixth over - where your team’s flying and you can put the opposition away. So you need to identify when that moment is, take the risk. If you get out doing it, then the other guys will then have another opportunity down the line, but you’ve got to try and take the opportunity when you can, and you do that through the information that you’ve garnered.,” he said.

“And for me - if I get a boundary early then I’m looking to try and press a huge over, and if you can pick up a 20- or 22-run over, not only have you potentially won the game, but you’ve got that guy under real pressure, maybe even taken him out of the attack. And then that forces the opposition to go a different way.”

The former Kiwi batsman, currently in and out of the team for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, also said he’s likely to become a coach after playing for another two years in the T20 leagues over the world.

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