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T20 World Cup 2021 Final | New Zealand were a little timid, didn’t fire bullets against Australia, says Brendon McCullum

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Brendon McCullum felt New Zealand weren't aggressive enough in the T20 WC 2021 final against Australia

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T20 World Cup 2021 Final | New Zealand were a little timid, didn’t fire bullets against Australia, says Brendon McCullum

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SportsCafe Desk

11/16/2021

Brendon McCullum remarked that New Zealand “didn’t fire the bullets” in the T20 World Cup 2021 final against Australia in Dubai on Sunday, which they lost by eight wickets to finish runners-up. McCullum believed that the team needed more aggression to overcome Australia on the biggest stage.

New Zealand’s T20 World Cup 2021 final defeat to Australia in Dubai on Sunday, marked their third runners-up finish in ICC tournaments in six years. The team rode on Kane Williamson’s 48-ball 85, which propelled them to 172/4 after being put in to bat, but Australia chased it down comfortably with eight wickets and seven balls to spare. 

Brendon McCullum felt that the Blackcaps missed an opportunity by not showing enough aggression.

“I don’t want to say we took a knife to a gunfight … we took a gun, but we didn’t fire any bullets,” McCullum said on SENZ Breakfast.

“They were a little bit timid. Just a missed opportunity, we didn’t fire the bullets we took.”

Despite taking 23 off the first three overs, New Zealand found themselves at 32/1 after the powerplay and subsequently 57/1 at the halfway stage. Martin Guptill, who started off with a second-ball boundary, endured a 35-ball struggle for 28. McCullum identified his former opening partner’s knock as a glaring passage in the innings.

“I just expected a bit more from Guptill, he got 28 off 35 balls in the final and that in isolation doesn’t look great,” he added.

“But then when you strip it down, he was 16 off 15 to get underway in the final, and then his next 20 balls he scored 12 runs, that’s the time where you need to be accelerating, and all it did was (take) the air out of us.

“(That was) the most glaringly obvious part of our batting.”

McCullum, who’d led the team to the final of the 2015 World Cup, which they lost to Australia, emphasised on the value of aggression while taking on the trans-Tasman rivals. 

“When you take on the Aussies, you’ve got to be prepared to risk failure to overcome them. They are not going to hand it to you,” said McCullum, who’d smashed Test cricket’s fastest hundred in his final international appearance against the same opponents five years ago.

“I’d just like to see us be more aggressive in those situations.”

New Zealand’s next assignment is the three-match away T20I series against India, beginning Wednesday, followed by two Tests beginning November 25.

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