Commentators have been left searching for new adjectives when describing Brendon McCullum’s form of late, with the BLACKCAPS captain being nothing short of prolific in the ANZ International Series against England so far.
From his match winning 74 not out in the second Twenty20 in Hamilton, to his recent 69 in the second Test in Wellington, McCullum has been a dominant force throughout and his statistics tell the same story.
He has scored six half centuries in seven innings, including a current unbroken streak of five consecutive. In only one of those (second Test), his strike-rate fell below 100 and he has hit a combined total of 21 sixes from those innings. Few other batsmen in history have been so consistently explosive.
Currently ranked the number one Twenty20 batsmen in the world, he lived up to that status with an average of 36.66 in the shortest format. It turned out to be just a starting point for the 31 year-old, who really began to hit his straps in the 50 over game.
He totalled 222 runs at an average of 111 in the ANZ One Day Series, and had a staggering overall strike-rate of 134.54. His unbeaten 69 led New Zealand to victory in the first fixture at Hamilton, while the 80 he scored at McLean Park had the fifth highest percentage of boundaries (81%) in an innings over 50 runs in New Zealand One Day history (9x4 and 4x6). He then finished with a fighting and team high 79 at Eden Park.
Those performances put him ninth on the ICC ODI batting rankings– one of three players (Virat Kohli and Shane Watson) to be in the top ten in both of the shorter formats.
Any expectations of him slowing down for the Tests were well wide of the mark, with Dunedin treated to a quick-fire 74 from 59 deliveries. In Wellington he played slightly more of a Test-like innings, making 69 off 94 balls – yet still had the highest strike-rate in the team.
The stats show just how immense the skipper’s contribution has been so far and the style he’s done it in has had fans, players and journalists fixated on what he’s going to do next.