McCullum relishes first ton against quality side

New Zealand's wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum on Friday said he was relieved to have finally scored a hundred against a top side like India.

updated: March 27, 2009 12:17 IST
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New Zealand's swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum on Friday said he was relieved to have finally scored a hundred against a top side like India after getting his previous two tons against minnows Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

"It has been so long between hundreds. There were some 90s and 80s in between. No disrespect to Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, but to get one against a top quality side like India means a lot," McCullum, who made a cavalier 115 in New Zealand's towering total of 619 for nine declared in the ongoing second Test, said.

"It has been a long time coming. There was a bit of emotion there as well when I got to three figures. It has been far too long between centuries for my liking. It is nice as well to get it against a side as good as India. It was a good time to bat," he added.

The dapper wicketkeeper-batsman said he was just about getting into Test mode.

"It seems a bit strange that I am starting to find the right tempo after 40-odd Tests. I have to bat for long hours. It has helped with the results I am starting to get, but you always want to do more. An average in the early 30s is not where I want to be in the long term. I want to bump that up to 40-45," he said.

McCullum said he would prefer batting higher up the order.

"You always want to bat higher because you want to make more contribution to the side. But the way our batting order sits at the moment, with Jesse coming in at five and doing so well.

"Frankie has being doing well, and you have got Jake (Jacob Oram) to come in. So my role is to bat with Daniel and the tail. That is what I have got to try and harness at the moment, and whatever happens down the road happens," he said.

McCullum said despite picking up three Indian wickets today, it would be hard work to get at the Indian batsmen tomorrow.

"It has been a great couple of days, particularly after the disappointment in Hamilton. We were completely outplayed. We never fired a shot.

"So far we have done everything we can and we know tomorrow and the next day is going to be hard work against these guys. But we can't ask for any better position than what we are in at the moment," he said.

"Their World class players still at the crease, with world class players still to come. It's going to take an amazing effort from us to get through the next couple. "Hopefully if we can expose the tail we can get in a position to force some sort of result in the game. Two and a half days of hard work it is going to take," added McCullum.