It’s time to dump our out of form Black Caps skipper, argues sports correspondent Marcus Rattsusan.
After Brendon McCullum’s record-breaking batting effort in the last test against India, it would be easy just to say everything is fine and changes don’t need to be made.
But as good as McCullum’s innings was, it doesn’t even begin to make amends for his inability to win the toss in almost all of the recent international games.
302 is a mighty score, but let’s not get carried away with ourselves. If McCullum had won the toss in the last test we almost certainly wouldn’t have batted first, and we probably wouldn’t have been all out cheaply in our first innings. McCullum was forced to dig deep in the second innings of the test because of his failure to win the toss. If McCullum’s triple century is a consequence of his failure as a captain, by saluting his epic score are we not rewarding failure?
Some people will claim that the Indian captain’s ability to win the toss against McCullum almost every time amounted to pure luck. But why was MS Dhoni so lucky? It’s a cliché, but good players make their own luck, so it’s obvious that the toss of a coin is as much a matter of skill as is the scoring of runs.
But it’s not enough just to demote McCullum as captain. That would be taking the soft option. He’s got to go. Get rid of him. Remove him from the team. Let’s send that triple centurion packing.
Dumping McCullum may seem like a radical option, but please hear me out. When I discuss this topic I do so with some authority. I have always maintained that winning the toss is the single most important skill a cricket captain can have, because without that skill he and his team are lost, doomed to be put in early on green tops and forced to claw their way back into the game after the inevitable loss of early wickets. Without wishing to sound boastful, my knowledge in this area is a matter of public record. Everywhere I go I hear people acknowledging my expertise. “There goes that complete tosser,” I hear them say.
So send McCullum on his way and appoint someone else, anyone else, as captain. It’s time to send a message to our Black Caps players that they cannot simply rely on taking wickets, scoring runs, and performing in the field. It’s not enough to be in scintillating form if the team can’t manage to win a single coin toss.
But if by chance the team do manage to start winning a few more of those coin tosses, while maintaining their excellent form with bat and ball, then I’m sure I can find something else to be unhappy about.