A statistical look at Brendon McCullum’s Test career

New Zealand will be saying goodbye to skipper Brendon McCullum this month, but not before he plays his 100th Test, at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, setting a new benchmark in the process.

 
 

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McCullum is the first person to play 100 Tests without interruption from debut. If all goes to plan, he will play 101 games before retiring, without missing a single match, either through injury or loss of form.

Here are some key facts and figures of his Test career, as we celebrate his match century.

2004 – Debut year. He got his first cap against South Africa in Hamilton, and recorded 57 in his first innings.

2014 – Best year with the bat. In that year he became the first Kiwi to score 1000 runs in a calendar year (1164), scored the Black Caps’ first triple ton, and in partnership with Kane Williamson scored the most runs for a NZ batting pair in a year.

38.48 – Test batting average. McCullum’s aura or persona somewhat eclipses his actual stats, if we’re honest. Even he says he’s not a batting ‘great’, but the past few season have certainly pushed his batting average closer to 40. When he was a wicketkeeper, his batting average was a touch above 34.

45.31 – Average since becoming captain. Donning the metaphorical armband has certainly impacted McCullum, and by extension his team, in a good way. It was helped by the fact that he gave up the keeping gloves as well.

29 – Tests as skipper. McCullum took over from Ross Taylor, somewhat controversially, in January 2013. In that time he led the side on an 11-match unbeaten streak, and turned the team into one of the more cohesive units in world cricket. His value as captain is difficult to put into numbers.

302 – Top score. This triple ton, the first by a New Zealander, came against India in Wellington in February 2014. He spent 775 minutes in the middle, using up 559 deliveries, and hitting 32 fours. It remains his country’s only triple.

11 – Triple figure scores. Aside from the 302, McCullum has scored three double centuries, all since 2010, and seven other centuries. Two of those tons were above 180.

31 – Fifties. Many of these came when he batted lower down the order as keeper. Ten of them are between 80 and 99.

145.52 – Highest ton strike rate. The century (195) he scored against Sri Lanka in Christchurch in late 2014 was an incredible display of batting. He made that score off just 134 balls, and it included a whopping 11 sixes.

100 – Sixes hit. In 2014 he scored the most sixes of any Test batsman in a year (33).

9 – Lowest position batted. In 2004 he played one Test as low as nine, and scored five runs. He’s also only played in one Test at number four, in 2012. His most regular spot is seven, but has not played there since 2013. Since then, he’s been at five more often than not.

6 – Best bowlers against him. Stuart Broad, Dale Steyn, and Monty Panesar have all dismissed McCullum six times each in Tests. He’s not really anyone’s ‘bunny’.

179 – Keeping dismissals. McCullum sits only behind Adam Parore as New Zealand’s most successful keeper. It’s unlikely he’ll hold on to this with the way BJ Watling is going, but for now it stands.

11- Stumpings. This is the most by a Kiwi, thanks to Dan Vettori’s presence in the team for so long. Parore had seven, Watling is on five.

1 – Wickets taken. His solitary Test wicket came in 2014 against Pakistan in Dubai. He removed centurion Sarfraz Ahmed via a caught and bowled. The match was drawn, incidentally. He’s bowled 25.1 Test overs.

 

 
 

 

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