Thursday, October 23, 2008

"We have not done very well (so far) but our best is yet to come." McCullum

Brendon McCullum has warned the hosts that New Zealand have yet to show their best in the tour although it is nearing its end.

The hard-hitting New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman has had a very poor run during the one-day series against Bangladesh that the Black Caps came from behind to win 2-1 and also in the Test series that they lead 1-0.

Admitting his lack of form in the season, McCullum said during a practice session at the Sher-e-Bangla Mirpur Stadium yesterday that the second Test, which starts at the same venue tomorrow, could be the ideal stage for Daniel Vettori's side to flourish.

"We have played two one-days here and feel we are ready to go all out and win the Test series 2-0," the New Zealand vice-captain told adding that Mirpur has wickets where the batsmen could get runs if they showed patience.

Having scored a magnificent century in the opening match of the Indian Premier League, runs have not flown from his bat but McCullum said he was working hard on it.

Everyone was fearful of the master-blaster one-day opener, especially after his swashbuckling 80 off just 30 balls that throttled New Zealand to finish a chase in just six overs -- a one-day record -- against touring Bangladesh during the 2007-08 season.

But the Bangladesh attack has so far tamed his bat successfully. His one-day scores in the series were 14, 12 and six while his Test figures while batting in middle-order were 25 and two.

"Bangladesh's performance in the Chittagong Test was not unexpected to us because it was their home condition. The spinners dominated there but we made a comeback."

New Zealand chased a record second-innings total of 317 on foreign soil to snatch a three-wicket victory in the first Test in Chittagong from the jaws of defeat, thanks to Vettori's eight-wicket haul and a pair of half-centuries. However, they will be without their ODI series hero Jacob Oram, ruled out for the last Test due to injury.

"We have not done very well (so far) but our best is yet to come."

Only five local players, Tigers captain Mohammad Ashraful, Rajin Saleh, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal and star performer of the first Test Shakib Al Hassan, had optional batting practice in the afternoon but Bangladesh will return for a full session this morning.

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