What shot did Brendon McCullum play when bowled in 2015 CWC final?
— Sports Freak (@Sportsfreakconz) February 5, 2018
Apologies for not including the “Tried to push the ball on the legside” option.
But just look at that poll, made even more significant by the fact that there’s a decent percentage of people who would have seen that poll who are cricket geeks.
Well maybe NZ’s biggest sporting myth is that was Andy Haden’s theatrical dive out of the line-out in 1978 that allowed Brain McKechnie to kick the winning goal. In actual fact it was Frank Oliver’s slightly more subtle dive that drew that penalty.
But, more recently, it has become the nature of Brendan McCullum’s dismissal in the opening over of the 2015 Cricket World Cup final.
When Colin Munro tried to hoist Billy Stanlake’s first delivery on Saturday night into Kings Cross callers to Radio Sport immediately drew a parallel with McCullum at the World Cup final.
That is classic New Zealand kneejerk reaction, except it is wrong. But it seems we cope with sporting disasters best when we can lay the blame on one person, and one person only. Wayne Barnes would know this. As would Suzie the waitress, and there is no actual proof she even existed.
At the MCG in March 2015 McCullum had a couple of swishes at Starc from his first two balls before realising there was a bit going on. He defended the third ball, but Starc had the radar sorted by then. An in swinging Yorker cleaned out the leg stump, beating a front foot semi-defensive shot.
Stuff that though; the narrative is that McCullum came out that afternoon swinging recklessly and that, single handedly, cost New Zealand the World Cup final.
As an aside, that unit played about 23 or so warm-up ODIs that summer. You lose one batsman in the first over, and that’s it? Taylor and Elliott were to later put in a decent partnership to almost resurrect the innings, but a few other players should have copped a bit of grief too.
The real issue should be that Taylor and Elliott had got New Zealand to a position of 150 for 3 with 15 overs remaining, including a Power Play. That should have resulted in a score of 260+. Instead they made 187.
At worst it was an across the line attempted flick for a single. But there was no way he was launching that out of the ground.
End of myth? Probably not.