Sunday, May 31, 2009


The weight of New Zealand's Twenty20 World Cup expectations rests heavily on the shoulders of Brendon McCullum and his burning desire to be recognised as the world's best wicketkeeper-batsman.The diminutive gloveman is the key element in New Zealand's game plan with his audacious batting at the top of the order and his lightning-fast reactions behind the woodwork.That the 27-year-old's name is often mentioned as a contender to inherit the mantle of Australian great Adam Gilchrist speaks volumes for his ability.In the Indian Premier League, the Kolkata Knight Riders valued McCullum at 700,000 US dollars, the biggest offer for a New Zealand player, when they snapped him up last year.They were immediately rewarded when he launched the inaugural IPL series by smashing a record 158 off 73 balls and he ended the season with an average 62.66 with the bat at a strike rate of 204.35.New Zealand's 2008 Player of the Year has also won high praise from Australia where a cameo McCullum performance helped New South Wales qualify for the Champions League Twenty20 tournament in October.

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