Brendum McCullum will take Lee on

New Zealanders are worried about their batting line-up’s inability to cope with the pace of Brett Lee. He caused them all sorts of problems in the five ODI games played earlier this year, and in the first game of the Chappell-Hadlee trophy, he caused them considerable problems once again.

Now Brendum McCullum has volunteered to open the batting in a pinch-hitting capacity.

AS New Zealand’s top-order batsmen search for ways to endure the torment inflicted on them by Australian speedster Brett Lee, hobbit-sized wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum has surprisingly volunteered to brave the new-ball.

McCullum, who locked horns with Lee earlier this year after the Australian stunned him with a waist-high full-toss during a one-day international in Auckland, claims he would be delighted to be offered the opening role.

While admitting incumbent openers Lou Vincent and Nathan Astle are better credentialled to perform the role, McCullum has thrown his black cap into the ring should the NZ brainstrust opt for a change of strategy in the current one-day series.

The 24-year-old’s decision to offer his services as pinch hitter and Lee fodder comes a day after NZ coach John Bracewell conceded his batsmen’s deficiencies against sheer pace could be as much mental as technical.

This is a brave move and one to be applauded. There is no doubt that the Kiwis have a problem, and they need to come up with something unorthodox to break the hold that Lee has on them.

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