Prince Brendon McCullum has finally done what he had leaked, inferred and generally showed us on many an occasion he was thinking about by giving up his role as test keeper.
No keeper since Tim Zoehrer (who often took the gloves off to bowl leggies) has shown such casual regard for the skill that got him into international cricket in the first place.
The Prince is talented, but that talent hasn’t exactly been oozing out of his stats now has it.
In test cricket, the game where he is giving up the gloves, he has made 5 test centuries – 2 against Bangladesh and 1 against Zimbabwe – at an average of 34. Low.
In one day cricket, where he doesn’t always seem to keep, he has made 2 centuries – 1 against Ireland – at an average of 29 with a strike rate of 87. Still not special numbers.
In T20 where others keep mostly, he has made 1 century – against Australia – and averages 33 with a strike rate of 126. Other than a slower strike rat than you’d expect, the man is a fair T20 batsman.
T20 is the only form of the game where Prince Brendon could give up keeping and be a legitimate force right now.
Sure, ditching the gloves might improve his batting, but it might not. Being an all rounder in any sense might be a burden on your time, but it also gives you freedom. You can average 34 as a batsman if you have another skill, but who wants a test batsman who averages 34.
I know New Zealand don’t always have the highest standards when it comes to test averages, but 34 is testing them.
According to Assistant coach Mark Greatbatch, “Brendon clearly understands he will only be considered as a test batsman on his long-form batting performances.”
Dictator Dan has been quiet on the announcement.
McCullum may return to keeping in one day cricket.
The cynical cunt nature of me wonders if this isn’t an elaborate test retirement.
His average is not enough to get him an automatic spot, so maybe he plays a few tests, or maybe he doesn’t get picked at all…
If it is an elaborate well staged test retirement, you have to give the man some credit, it is the double indemnity of test retirements.
I fear it is not, and instead it is just a wicket keeper who thinks he can cut it as a test batsman.
I wonder if he can?