McCullum: IPL will not be used an excuse

New Zealand

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum says his team are excited about playing a Test at Lord's and the fact that some of their players only arrived in England a few days ago from the IPL will not be used as an excuse ahead of their showdown with England on Thursday.

Six members of the Black Caps' Test squad, including McCullum, only set foot in England two days before the first, of two, Test matches against the hosts.

The absent players missed out on two warm-up matches and there is a worry that they will be undercooked by the time the first ball is bowled on Thursday.

McCullum however said they will not use T20 competition as an excuse with the skipper also pointing out that last year in exactly the same situation they still did well in the first Test against the West Indies.

On the eve of the Lord's Test, McCullum told reporters: "We are excited, a Test at Lord's is something very few people get the opportunity to play in. It's such an amazing ground, such character.

"It's the tradition, the history of the ground. The amount of great players who have played here and been in the dressing room.

"The crowd is also unique, people talk about the Lord's buzz and it certainly does buzz. It's a wonderful place to play and dream of playing here.

"There are challenges coming from the IPL but it was only last year when we went to the West Indies and got 500 in the first innings, so it can work as a positive as well. It's certainly not an excuse."

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