Proteas’s ‘uncompromising’ attitude makes them favourites against Blackcaps: Brendon McCullum
Christchurch : Former New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum feels South Africa will have an edge going into the two-Test series against the Blackcaps beginning at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on February 17, saying they are a “really uncompromising side”.The Proteas have flown into New Zealand on the back of defeating India 2-1 in the three-Test series and McCullum reckons they will have an edge despite the fact that they will be playing an away rubber.”South Africa, they just played such an uncompromising style of cricket for a long period of time, and they were really galvanised under the leadership of (former skipper) Graeme Smith in particular,” McCullum, who played more than a century of Tests for the Blackcaps scoring 6,453 runs, said on SENZ Mornings on Tuesday.
“We did beat them during the time that I had, we beat them once in Auckland, at Eden Park, and that was quite a remarkable Test performance. Outside of that, they flogged us pretty much every time. There’s a few draws in there, but they put us to the sword, and I just found them a really uncompromising side,” opined McCullum, who is also the coach of the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Kolkata Knight Riders.McCullum said that the South African bowlers give it their all on the cricket field, while their batters are a picture of grit and determination while occupying the crease, which has made them a fearsome side over the years.”Their fast bowlers have been outstanding, and you know, Dean Elgar, he is what South African batsmen in essence are. They’re tough, they’re gritty, they just don’t ever give you an inch and they will see off difficult circumstances because they just have a real innate desire to perform and win for their country.
“They’re incredibly passionate and patriotic people, the South African side, and I think that has really helped them over times as well to get the best out of themselves,” said McCullum.New Zealand are ranked higher, in second place, in the ICC Test rankings, while South Africa are fifth, but McCullum feels the tourists have the edge because of their recent showing in India.”I think it’s less about how poor New Zealand’s been, and more about how good South Africa has been. I think it’s going to be a ripping series. I’m predicting it could be a one-all Test series, but I actually have South Africa going in as slight favourites, and that’s pretty hard to have considering how good New Zealand has been over the last little while,” added McCullum.