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New Zealand’s Indomitable Duo

Vettori taking a blow to the body for his country.

The 4th day of the first Test of Australia’s tour of New Zealand seemed like a case of business as usual in Wellington. The city was showing off its famous gale force winds and the Australian cricket team was trouncing New Zealand. After being forced to follow on after a paltry first innings of 157 and already having already lost 5 wickets for 187 in their second, New Zealand was staring down the barrel of an embarrassing innings defeat. Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum however weren’t going to go down without a fight.

In the first over of the day Vettori hit Bollinger for a majestic boundary through the cover region. In retaliation to this Bollinger bounced one in short at the New Zealand skipper’s body who easily ducked out of the way. For a majority of the day this would be the case, Australia’s attack being unable force any dominance upon the Kiwi batsman. McCullum and Vettori accumulating a record in the process, reaching New Zealand’s highest 6th wicket partnership against Australia in the second innings with their 126 run stand.

This however isn’t the first time McCullum and Vettori have saved New Zealand from embarrassment and a crushing defeat; their figures together are nothing short of remarkable.

The indomitable duo have batted together a total of 29 times in Test matches putting together 1312 runs @ 45.24 with 4 hundreds and 6 fifties.

Since the 1st of January 2004 (the year of McCullum’s debut) they have been far and away New Zealand’s most prolific partnership.

Players Innings Runs Average 100s 50s
BB McCullum, DL Vettori 29 1312 45.24 4 6
JDP Oram, DL Vettori 16 761 47.56 3 2
BB McCullum, JDP Oram 17 571 38.06 0 5
JD Ryder, LRPL Taylor 9 528 58.66 1 2
SP Fleming, SB Styris 13 482 37.07 1 2

Besides dominating proceedings for the New Zealand Test team in recent years they also hold up quite well to the all-time great New Zealand batting duos. If age is taken into account this could potentially improve their figures even more, McCullum being only 28 and Vettori 31.

Players Innings Runs Average 100s 50s
NJ Astle, SP Fleming 58 1951 33.63 2 15
MD Crowe, AH Jones 28 1803 64.39 4 6
BA Edgar, JG Wright 60 1760 31.42 1 12
TJ Franklin, JG Wright 28 1543 55.10 5 5
AH Jones, JG Wright 33 1490 49.66 6 4
NJ Astle, CD McMillan 35 1319 41.21 2 10
BB McCullum, DL Vettori 29 1312 45.24 4 6

However one of the most remarkable things about their partnerships is that they have almost entirely game for the 6th, 7th or 8th wickets. Making them one of the all-time greatest lower order batting partnerships.

Players Innings Runs Average 100s 50s
IA Healy, SR Waugh (Aus) 57 2198 39.96 6 6
AC Gilchrist, DR Martyn (Aus) 22 1487 74.35 5 3
MV Boucher, SM Pollock (SA) 43 1306 32.65 2 5
BB McCullum, DL Vettori (NZ) 28 1305 46.60 4 6
AW Greig, APE Knott (Eng) 35 1304 37.25 4 6
N Kapil Dev, SMH Kirmani (Ind) 26 1126 45.04 2 7
A Flintoff, GO Jones (Eng) 19 1085 60.27 5 3

A common feature for these partnerships is of a wicket-keeper batsman and top class all-rounder combination which is most certainly the case for McCullum and Vettori.

With their complimentary unorthodox styles and the sheer tenacity they use to stave away defeat, Vettori and McCullum will almost certainly go down as one of New Zealand’s if not the world’s greatest batting partnerships.


Nice article.

Comment by Flem274* | 12:00am GMT 22 March 2010

An article praising McCullum for being a gutsy fighter?

Comment by thierry henry | 12:00am GMT 22 March 2010

Very nicely written article. Good stuff.

Comment by _Ed_ | 12:00am GMT 22 March 2010

Pretty much emphasises how often they’ve had to get us out of the sheet.

Either way, it’s a good return

Comment by zinzan12 | 12:00am GMT 22 March 2010

A nicely constructed article Athlai, was a good read. 🙂

Comment by Somerset | 12:00am GMT 23 March 2010

nice one john……..

Comment by giri | 12:00am GMT 24 March 2010

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