Ponting doubts McCullum repeat

Australia skipper not anticipating further fireworks from Kiwi opener

Last Updated: 02/03/10 7:18pm

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Brendon McCullum: uninhibited style

Brendon McCullum: uninhibited style

Sky Bet

Australia captain Ricky Ponting thinks New Zealand opener Brendon McCullum will have to rein in his approach in the opening match of the Chappell-Hadlee series.

"The way he played the other day was pretty much down to having to do that because of the format."
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McCullum cracked 116 from 56 balls to help the Black Caps to a series-levelling victory, albeit via a one-over eliminator, in the second Twenty20 international in Christchurch on Sunday.

Ponting, who has retired from T20 for Australia but remains skipper of the 50-over team, cannot see McCullum batting with the same cavalier attitude in the longer version of the one-day game.

"I'd be surprised if he plays that way and those sort of shots in a 50-over game," said Ponting ahead of Wednesday's series opener in Napier.

"The way he played the other day was pretty much down to having to do that because of the format.

"He'll probably feel a bit more responsibility going into a 50-over game as well.

"Being one of their most experienced players and probably their batter in the best form at the moment he'll probably put it on himself to try to bat for longer periods.

"But as a result of some of the things he did do the other night there has been some conversation around the group about the way we should bowl if he plays some of those shots again so I think we've all learned from watching his innings."

Unbeaten

Australia are unbeaten in the 50-over format since October, a run that encompasses series wins over India, Pakistan and West Indies.

The tourists squad is bolstered by the arrival of Ponting, Doug Bollinger, James Hopes, Clint McKay and Adam Voges, while T20 specialists Travis Birt, Daniel Christian, David Hussey, Dirk Nannes, Steven Smith, Shaun Tait and David Warner have all gone home.

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is likely to open with Shane Watson after Shaun Marsh was ruled out of the tour with a back injury.

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, meanwhile, stressed he would urge McCullum to play in the same uninhibited manner.

"We want Brendon to keep playing the same way," said Vettori. "We'd love that to happen all the time but the nature of cricket means it doesn't so we need other guys to step up."

Vettori predicted a high-scoring match at McLean Park on a pitch where spin bowlers often struggle and picked out Ponting and Michael Hussey as major threats from the Australia batting line-up.

"They're bringing in some quality players and they're bringing in the team that's dominated their one-day series back home," noted Vettori.

"We've got to get up to speed with a lot of them. But they're obviously bringing in one of the best batsmen of all time in Ricky Ponting, so he's a guy we're going to have to really prepare for.

Amazing

"Him and Hussey have amazing records against us so for us to stop them were going to have to do well against those two in particular."

Vettori relishes the clashes with Australia and knows the New Zealand public feel the same.

He said: "It means a lot to us and it's basically our credibility within world cricket. If we can step up against these guys, play well and win, then people respect us as a team.

"If we roll over then our summer has been a disappointment."

The Black Caps have brought in Scott Styris and Neil Broom for the 50-over action with Gareth Hopkins dropping out.

The home side's main selection decision concerns the final member of their bowling attack with seamer Daryl Tuffey and off-spinner Nathan McCullum the contenders.

Australia are current holders of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy having won the 2008 series and retained the silverware when last year's clash finished all square at 2-2.

New Zealand (from): D Vettori (capt), S Bond, N Broom, J Franklin, M Guptill, P Ingram, B McCullum (wkt), N McCullum, J Oram, T Southee, S Styris, R Taylor, D Tuffey

Australia (from): R Ponting (capt), D Bollinger, M Clarke, B Haddin (wkt), R Harris, N Hauritz, J Hopes, M Hussey, M Johnson, C McKay, A Voges, S Watson, C White

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