Former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Brendon McCullum’s career is a testament to the aggressive brand of cricket he brought to the international stage. As one of New Zealand’s most iconic cricketers, McCullum’s top 3 innings in One Day Internationals (ODIs) was defined by his fearless approach and extraordinary ability to dismantle opposition bowlers.
From his debut in 2002 to his retirement in 2016, McCullum’s impact on the ODI format was profound. He emerged as one of the best openers, setting the tone for the Kiwi innings with his explosive stroke play and unwavering self-belief. His ODI career statistics, although impressive, only scratch the surface of his influence; over 6,000 runs, including five centuries and 32 half-centuries, combined with his role as captain in later years, reflect his unwavering commitment to New Zealand cricket. So, in today’s article, we will discuss his top 3 performances in ODI cricket.
Top 3 innings of McCullum’s in ODI:
3. 79 vs. England in 2013
In a challenging series decider against England in 2013, Brendon McCullum showcased his fighting spirit with a remarkable knock of 79 runs. In the do-or-die game, New Zealand were struggling at 64-4, with half of their innings gone. In the face of adversity, McCullum adopted an explosive approach that proved to be the perfect response to England’s pace attack and the spin of Graeme Swann.
He blazed his way to 79 runs off 68 balls, including six fours and five towering sixes. Unfortunately, McCullum received little support from the lower order and led the Kiwis to a below-par total of 185. While England ultimately cruised to victory with 12 overs to spare and five wickets in hand, McCullum’s valiant effort took the limelight.
2. 59 vs. South Africa in the 2015 ODI World Cup
In New Zealand’s pivotal semi-final clash against South Africa during the 2015 ODI World Cup at Eden Park, Brendon McCullum stepped up for his team. Facing a challenging adjusted target of 299 in a 43-over match, the Kiwis needed a captain’s performance to break their semi-final jinx and put South Africa in the defensive position.
Eden Park’s unique and short boundaries provided McCullum with the perfect stage to showcase his extraordinary 360-degree hitting abilities, and he seized the opportunity with both hands. In a blistering display, McCullum gave the Kiwis a flying start with his 59 runs off just 26 balls. His innings featured eight fours and six massive sixes, dismantling the South African pace attack in a relentless onslaught that lasted for six electrifying overs.
McCullum’s fearless batting approach helped New Zealand qualify for the finals of the World Cup for the first time. His fighting knock against a formidable opponent in a high-stakes encounter remains etched in the annals of cricket history as a testament to his audacious and inspirational leadership.
1. 86* vs. Australia in 2007
In a high-stakes encounter during the ODI series, Brendon McCullum delivered a memorable and fighting knock of 86 runs that etched his name in cricketing annals. Facing a daunting target set by Australia after they posted a formidable 346, New Zealand found themselves reeling at 41-4, with their hopes hanging by a thread.
However, McCullum, along with the support of Craig McMillan’s pacey half-century, decided to rewrite the script. McMillan contributed with a blistering 117 to keep the Kiwi hopes alive. When McMillan departed, New Zealand remained outsiders, needing 66 runs from just 8.4 overs with only four wickets in hand. McCullum, known for his attacking style, With crucial support from Mark Gillespie, who added a rapid 28, McCullum finished the then-second-highest run chase with a six.