McCullum has no weakness, says Dan Vettori

Josh Hazelwood Photo: Getty

Josh Hazelwood Photo: Getty

Daniel Vettori believes Australia are wasting their time looking for a weakness in Brendon McCullum’s game.

McCullum’s name has been on everyone’s lips in Auckland in the lead-up to Saturday’s trans-Tasman tussle at Eden Park.

The Black Caps captain is fresh from setting a new mark for the fastest World Cup fifty, needing just 18 balls to post a half-century against England last week.

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Vettori stopped short of declaring his long-time teammate the best ODI batsman in the world, but highlighted just how highly he rated McCullum’s past 18 months.

“It’s incredibly difficult to stop him,” Vettori said on Thursday.

“Sometimes you try and think a batsman has a weakness, but what’s shown at the moment is he doesn’t have a weakness.”

Vettori’s comments are in sharp contrast to those of David Warner, who earlier this week outlined how he envisaged McCullum’s downfall.

“If we bowl well to him, we’ll create the pressure and he’ll have a brain explosion,” Warner said.

The words “brain explosion” caused consternation among locals and were attacked by some media outlets, but Warner actually spoke with great respect for McCullum.

Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson and Josh Hazlewood all paid tribute to McCullum’s batting when they fronted the press this week.

But the fact one man is receiving so many plaudits from pundits does not sit well with all in the Australian camp.

“I can think of four players that play for us who are equally as good, so maybe they’ve got four times the headaches,” Australia’s bowling coach Craig McDermott quipped.

“There’s 10 other guys in that team besides Brendon McCullum, so we’ve got to deal with the whole team.”

McDermott took a similar tone when asked about Tim Southee’s seven-wicket haul against England and his new-ball partnership with Trent Boult.

Josh Hazelwood Photo: Getty

Josh Hazelwood admits McCullum will be tough to dismiss. Photo: Getty

“He bowled really well. The Poms didn’t move their feet very well but that’s another story,” McDermott said.

“Our blokes are well prepared for that sort of stuff, and our blokes move their feet pretty well.

“Facing our blokes at practice is difficult enough … Mitchell (Johnson) and Josh (Hazlewood) have been swinging the ball consistently and they’re 10kph faster.”

Hazlewood used the same logic when he was battered with questions about McCullum.

Hazlewood agreed it was “going to be hard work”, but the 24-year-old felt Australia’s quicks were well prepared after charging in against the likes of Warner and Finch.

“He’s obviously a dangerous player … but bowling to Finchy and Warner, I think there’s no better practice than bowling to those two,” Hazlewood said.

“They’re pretty similar players to McCullum.

“We’ve had plenty of practice bowling to our guys, so hopefully we’re ready.”

Vettori agreed with Hazlewood that Finch, Warner and McCullum were all as dangerous as each other.

“They can try and hit any ball for six and all three of them can do it on their day,” Vettori said.

Southee was hit by a ball during training on Thursday, but is fully expected to play on the weekend.


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