McCullum impressed with Craig's debut effort
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was over the moon that the gamble to include off-spinner Mark Craig in the Test squad paid off, and that the little-fancied bowler took eight wickets in the first Test.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was over the moon that the gamble to include off-spinner Mark Craig in the Test squad paid off, and that the little-fancied bowler took eight wickets in the first Test, on debut.
The Kiwis beat the West Indies by 186 runs on day four in Jamaica, with Craig taking four wickets in each innings. He was only in the side because Jeetan Patel declined the offer, and few outside the team expected such a good debut.
The skipper said of the Otago tweaker, who has a first class bowling average of nearly 40 but was man of the match: "He went about his work, he was never fazed at any stage.
"Obviously the conditions were helpful, but you've still got to be able to apply pressure over a long period of time to be able to get the rewards."
The Black Caps fielded two spinners at Sabina Park, anticipating a turning track, and this was rewarded when Ish Sodhi, a leg spinner took three wickets in the second innings. McCullum was pleased this gamble worked out too.
He said: "It's a little bit different from our normal game plan to have two spinners operating, and base our last innings around that form of attack.
"It's pleasing that both those guys, young in experience, were able to succeed in these conditions and ultimately bowl us to a Test win."
As for the quick bowlers, Tim Southee recovered from a poor IPL to take four wickets and then two more in the second dig. He bagged Chris Gayle twice, and laid the platform for the spinners to take the rest of the order.
MCullum continued: "For me, Tim's the leader of the attack. He's not old in years, but he's certainly wise in experience.
"In conditions which weren't overly helpful for seam bowlers, the spells that he bowled and the rewards he got were testament to how well he bowled."
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