Originally Posted by Athlai
McCullum is a player who should average around 35 in ODI cricket IMO. There is plenty of merit in the tactic in that it allows the other batsman to establish themselves and build partnerships. Though I doubt I can sway you on this point as you seem to favor striking out in ODI cricket.
Indeed. I think partnerships are much easier to build when someone is striking out because it means you can take time to play yourself in. Malik and Yousuf against India, for example, scored nothing at all when they arrived at the crease, because bright batting from Nazir and Akmal meant they were on top of the run-rate, and once they were in they could start scoring quickly and build a big partnership. Obviously getting out for 20 isn't ideal, but it was a lot easier for Malik and Yousuf that they got out for 20 (15) as opposed to 20 (30). Which is, realistically, the choice McCullum is faced with.
When McCullum gets an innings off to a slow start, the batsman at the other end (and indeed every batsman to follow) is always thinking "need to get a move on here...". I'm a big fan of the hitting role, if you've got appropriate players. McCullum's shown himself repeatedly to be an excellent hitter.