Preview: Brendon McCullum wants to sign off his ODI career on a winning note
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum wants to bide the game adieu on a winning note. On Saturday, he will lead New Zealand into a one-day series against Sri Lanka.
McCullum lead New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka 2-0 in the Test series.
The opening game will take place on Boxing Day in Christchurch, the hometown of McCullum.
McCullum wants to sign off his illustrious career with his head held high.
Lahiru Thirimane, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Kulasekara and depending on fitness, Lasith Malinga are among the a number of players injected into the ODI squad.
McCullum will play his last international game in front of his home crowd in Christchurch in February when Australia will tour New Zealand.
“We’ve got a bumper calendar really with Sri Lanka here at the moment, Pakistan to come and finishing off with the Aussies,” he said.
“From a playing point of view and a captain’s point of view, I’m fully committed to playing at the absolute top of my game and make as many contributions as I can.”
Coach Mike Hesson said he does not expect McCullum’s retirement announcement to have an adverse effect on the team.
“We’re expecting the guys to carry on in a similar style of play in terms of how we want to go about things,” Hesson said.
“We will still be quite aggressive in the way we go about the game and we’ll certainly be asking that of our players.”
New Zealand team will miss nearly half of their pack who played in the World Cup final in March 2015.
Danie Vettori has retired, Grant Elliot and Corey Anderson are injured. Trent Boult is being spelled for the ODI series and Tim southee is being rested for the first two games.
However, Adam Milne, New Zealand’s quickest bowler, who missed the Wolrd Cup final owing to a heel injury, returns to the side.
Milne joins Mitchel McClenaghan, Matt Henry and Doug Bracewell. This bowler will vie for a place in the T20 World Cup in India.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was disappointed the way his side folded in the Tests but expected a better showing in the limited overs sereis.
“Dilshan, Kulasekara and Thirimanne are joining the one-day team and we’ve got a fair bit of experience so we are looking to give them a good run for their money,” he said.
“I have a lot of confidence in the one dayers.”
One bright spot for Sri Lanka in the failed Test campaign was the emergence of 23-year-old Dushmantha Chameera as a talented quick bowler.
“He’s played just a few games and he’s been absolutely brilliant and he was able to shake the New Zealanders. He’s a great, bright prospect for us going forward,” Mathews said.
“He doesn’t have a lot of seam movement. It’s just that he can bowl fast. He can bowl a good yorker as well and if he can keep his pace up here constantly, troubling the batsmen, that’s all I want.”