McCullum aware of series win importance

New Zealand

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is feeling the added pressure of a possible, and rare, Test series win away from home as the Kiwis go into the third Test against the West Indies at one-all.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is feeling the added pressure of a possible, and rare, Test series win away from home as the Kiwis go into the third Test against the West Indies at one-all.

If the Black Caps win the match and thus the series, it will be the first time they've beaten a side away from home that's not Zimbabwe or Bangladesh since 2002. And the last win, against the Tigers, was in 2008. McCullum was aware of the significance.

He said: "It certainly sets it up well and gives us a real chance of achieving something special. A series win, if we are able to achieve it, would be something that everyone in this squad, players and management included, would hold dearly for the rest of their lives. Certainly for all of us it's a huge opportunity."

The Kiwis are hopeful of a good recovery in Barbados, given the hard deck that promises lots of runs, and McCullum hopes that it helps both the batsmen and his fast bowlers, after their poor batting effort in the second Test.

McCullum said: "It looks like it's pretty good batting surface with some bounce and it should have some decent carry even though there's not a lot of grass. Hopefully it holds throughout the game and should be able to aid the fast bowlers.

"Either way there looks a little bit in it for the bowlers but also it looks like the kind of surface that if you get in on, because it's got good pace bounce and the outfield is fast, you can score some runs as well."

He continued: "We've batted really well over the last 12 to 18 months and posted those scores in excess of 400 and every time we've done so we've either won or drawn a Test match.

"So we know that's a key stat for us and we've got to make sure we try and execute that again. Sometimes you have bad days as a batting group.

"We talked about that after that last Test match, we had one bad session where West Indies bowlers to their credit bowled well and we didn't apply ourselves as well as we should have done.

"We're on notice too. We've got to make sure we stick to our key fundamentals and get ourselves a big first-innings score."

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