Just over three years ago, New Zealand cricket was in a state of crisis.
Their cricket board had floated the idea of a captaincy sharing scenario which would see Brendon McCullum take over the short-form captaincy and Ross Taylor stay on as Test captain.
It was an idea that Taylor, who was the captain in all three formats at the time turned down. He then soon relinquished the captaincy of the Test side and subsequently chose not to tour South Africa with the team.
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McCullum was then thrust into the captaincy role against the imposing South African side and what happened next was absolute carnage.
In the first test, New Zealand were bowled out for just 45 in under 20 overs, which was their quickest innings at the crease and third lowest in their history.
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Dynamic in the shorter forms of the game, McCullum’s test career had been average but not anything spectacular.
It was for that reason that the decision to make him captain of the Test side then raised some eyebrows. He made some changes to this game, which included giving up the wicket keeping gloves.
It allowed him to be a more accomplished batsman, scoring a double and triple-century against India in 2014 and a triple century against Pakistan later in that year.
He had also come a long way in the leadership stakes from that Cape Town test. His record of 11 wins from 30 Test matches sees him sit equal with Geoff Howarth in New Zealand's cricket history.
STYLE OF PLAY
It is not his record which has made the impact, but more so the captivating way his team went about it.
His constant attacking policy might not have been seen in the cricket coaching manuals, but it had won numerous admirers in the cricketing world.
On home shores where Rugby Union is undisputably king, that mindset began to resonate with the audience and cricket became part of the mainstream sporting discussion.
The Black Caps performance in the World Cup captivated their whole nation a year ago, which saw them defeat powerhouses Australia and South Africa before eventually falling to their Aussie neighbours in the final.
McCullum played in his last game for his country in the second test against Australia and unsurprisingly left the international stage his way.
He created a record in scoring the quickest century in Test match history, which came from only 54 balls, along the way passing Adam Gilchrist’s record for hitting the most sixes in Test matches.
When you look at his overall record, nothing particularly leaps from the page and he just falls short of being called a great of the game.
However, his overall contribution to his nation and the way he played the game through actions and words means he leaves a footprint greater than any individual accolades.
McCullum will continue to travel the world as part of the domestic Twenty20 circuit so he won't be completely lost to the game.
How much will McCullum be missed from Test cricket? Leave your opinion in the comment box below!
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