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“We didn’t fire any bullets”: McCullum disappointed in Blackcaps' lack of aggression


Former Blackcaps’ skipper Brendon McCullum has been left disappointed by his former side’s performance on Sunday morning in the T20 World Cup final, going down to Australia by eight wickets in Dubai.

Australia mowed down New Zealand's 172 with seven balls to spare, reaching 2/173 with Glenn Maxwell sealing victory with a trademark reverse-sweep reaching the boundary.

McCullum says the missed opportunity was partly due to the Blackcaps’ not being aggressive enough toward the Australians, needing to apply more pressure when prompted.

“I don’t want to say we took a knife to a gunfight … we took a gun, but we didn’t fire any bullets,” he said on SENZ Breakfast.

“They were a little bit timid.

“Just a missed opportunity, we didn’t fire the bullets we took.”

McCullum, who captained New Zealand in all forms of cricket, said the lack of aggression in scoring runs halted the Blackcaps, as a wave of pressure was placed on them, not being able to overcome it.

“I just expected a bit more from (Martin Guptill), he got 28 off 35 balls in the final and that in isolation doesn’t look great,” he added.

“But then when you strip it down, he was 16 off 15 to get underway in the final, and then his next 20 balls he scored 12 runs, that’s the time where you need to be accelerating, and all it did was (take) the air out of us.

“(That was) the most glaringly obvious part of our batting.”

McCullum, who admitted he failed in trying to attack the Australian bowlers early in the 2015 World Cup final, said the Blackcaps still had to remain aggressive throughout, as the Australians rarely hand over victory.

“When you take on the Aussies, you’ve got to be prepared to risk failure to overcome them. They are not going to hand it to you,” he said.

“I’d just like to see us be more aggressive in those situations.”

Sunday’s T20 World Cup final loss to Australia added further wounds to New Zealand’s recent misfortune, now falling agonisingly short in the 2021, 2019, and 2015 World Cup finals to both Australia and England.

The Blackcaps won’t have to wait long for redemption, as the 2022 T20 World Cup gets underway in Australia in less than a year’s time.

2021 T20 World Cup

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