McCullum: Kane ton was ‘best I’ve seen’

New Zealand

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was disappointed by his side's defeat in the first Test against Australia in Brisbane, but looked for a silver lining in Kane Williamson's century in the first innings.

The Black Caps were soundly beaten by 208 runs, but it would have been much worse if not for Williamson's 140, which accounted for nearly half on the Kiwis' first innings score of 317. He added a half ton in the second dig too.

McCullum said after the defeat: "Kane Williamson, probably best hundred I've seen from a New Zealander in the time I've been playing.

"Just full of class and once again shows how good a player he is, and that he can score runs in any conditions against any attack all around the world.

"He's a huge positive out of this Test match. I thought the openers were good as well. They looked poised and controlled and defensively very sound. I'm sure they'll take a lot out of this as well."

The visitors were well below par with the ball though, taking just eight wickets in the match and suffering the loss of Tim Southee to a back injury. But MCCullum was confident the bowlers will take the lessons to Perth for the second Test.

He added: "I thought Tim was outstanding, especially considering his back started to flare up as well. He showed a lot of heart to keep pushing through some pretty uncomfortable feelings there. I thought he was really good.

"We know Boulty (Trent Boult) is a world-class bowler. He was just a little bit off in this Test match. I put that down to how aggressive Australia were at times as well.

"Boulty will be better for the run. He's been world-class for a long time for us. I thought Dougie (Doug Bracewell) got better as the Test match wore on.

"I don't think you can read too much into (spinner) Mark Craig's bowling in the first innings. It's not his job to bowl first innings at the Gabba, but we had to utilise him in that role because unfortunately we didn't have any control from our seamers.

"I thought he got better as the Test went on … We've seen in the past as well that he gets better as tours go on."

The second Test at the WACA starts on Friday.

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