So fellas, with the recent emergence of this McCullum-led NZ Test side, where do we rank Bmac vs. past NZ test skippers and what is your top 5?
I already have McCullum as high as no. 2 after Stephen Fleming. Another year or two like 2014 and he could well go above Flem for me.
1) Stephen Fleming - Best all-round test skipper we've had. Took over an 'easy-beats' team in 1997 and turned them into a well-respected/competitive test side peaking between 1999-2003. My only criticism is there were times in which his body language deflated too quickly on the field. No such criticism of the man off the field & was absolutely brilliant with the media.
2) Brendon McCullum - Yup, already have him 2nd (just ahead of Howarth) on the back of what he's achieved in the last 18 months or so. Clearly an amazing team-man who really inspires his players to back their natural instincts and ability. Brilliant both on and off the field. It's not hard to believe Fleming is his manager given how much he sounds like Flem when dealing with the media these days.
3) Geoff Howarth - I'm too young to remember much of his captaincy, so primarily going on what I've read/heard about him and his results. From all reports he was one of the best instinctive 'on-field' captains ever. My uncle tells me the channel 9 commentators used to gush over the way he used to direct his fielders around (admittedly in one-day cricket). Unfortunately he was not so great off the field, had some bad moments with the media and was reportedly always the last the leave the bar.
4) Jeremy Coney - The total opposite to Howarth in that he was absolutely brilliant off the field in terms both planning (with manager Glenn Turner) and his handling of the media. There's a legendary story about him stumping some Aussies journos through the use of 'big' words they needed to look up in a dictionary, which is hardly surprising of Coney. He was criticised however for looking a little 'lost' and 'directionless' on the field at times.
5) John Wright - Excellent inspiration skipper, who played some of his best test innings as captain. Was just a bit lacking when it came to tactics at times.