There are different types of music around the world. There is rock music, there is jazz, indipop, bollywood, caribbean music. Each and every part of the world has its own kind of music but there is one more type of music which noone knows. This type of music is produced on a cricket field. This music is created when a ball meets the bat. When a ball meets the bat a simple sound ‘tak’ is produced. And that simple sound ‘tak’ brings whole world on its feet. When a ball meets the middle of a bat, a perfect ‘tak’ comes out. After hearing that perfect ‘tak’, whole world roars. People starts cheering, dancing & express their agony. That kind of power that simple sound ‘tak’ posses.
In this type of music consistency is the key to success. The musician (batsman) has to produce perfect ‘tak’ consistently over the period of 10-15 years to be considered as one of the greats. There were some great musicians (batsmen) around the world who has produced the perfect ‘tak’ consistently in the past. There are some great musicians (batsmen) in this era as well who are still producing the perfect ‘tak’ consistently. One of them is Brendon McCullum. He is also known as ‘Baz’. McCullum made his debut in ODIs against Australia in Sydney in 2002. It was a deceptive debut in ODIs as he scored only 5 runs.
He made his debut as an opener but he was pushed down the order due to his poor form with the bat. Baz was pretty good with gloves behind the wickets but in front of the wickets with the bat he took some time to get his original touch. He got his maiden half century in his 29th ODI in 2003. In 2004, Baz made his test debut against South Africa and his test debut wasn’t as deceptive as his ODI debut. He made 57 in that match to show that he has the potential with bat as well. In the same year, Baz got his first century in international cricket. McCullum scored 143 in a test match against Bangladesh in Dhaka. In 2005, we got the glimpses of the real fearless Brendon McCullum when he smashed 25 ball 50 against Australia batting at no. 9.
In 2007 world cup, Baz smashed 20 ball 50 against Canada batting at no. 7. It was an announcement of the arrival of one of greatest hitters of the game. In 2008 he became the captain of New Zealand’s t20 side then he struck gold in IPL’s inaugural acution. On his IPL debut, Baz brought chinnaswamy on its feet. In the first match of IPL, he came out to bat with Ganguly for KKR and gave IPL the most sensational start. He scored 158 off just 73 balls hitting the ball all over the park. After that, McCullum finally got his first century in ODI cricket against Ireland. He got that in his 134th ODI. It was bit late but it is not easy to hit a century batting at no. 7, 8 or 9. Soon after that in 2009, he hit his second century in ODIs against Pakistan.
In 2010, McCullum got his first T20I century. He became the second batsman in the world to score a century in T20I. In 2012, Baz slammed another T20I hundred against Bangladesh in WT20. After that he took the reigns of New Zealand from Ross Taylor. He became the captain of New Zealand in all three formats. In 2014, he was in form of his life. During that time, India played two test matches in New Zealand and in that series, he scored 224 in the first innings of the first test. While in the secind innings of the second test he scored 302 & saved the test match. He is the only kiwi batsman who has scored a triple hundred in a test innings. In november 2014, he scored another double hundred against Pakistan along with 195 against Sri Lanka.
He took that form to 50 over world cup in 2015 which was played in Australia and New Zealand. It was the best phase for McCullum in ODI cricket. He slammed 18 ball 50, 21 ball 50, 19 ball 42 & 22 ball 50 in that tournament. He scored 328 runs at the strike rate of 188.5. He was leading his team as fearlessly as he was batting in that world cup. He had only one strategy in mind during that world cup ‘attack attack attack’ and that strategy took his team to the final. In December 2015, he gave the biggest shock to us by announcing his retirement from international cricket. Today, he is playing his last test and in that he has scored the fastest century in test cricket. He slammed a 54 ball 100 against Australia this morning and made his last test match memorable. He is the first player to play 100 consecutive tests from debut.
Not only he is a great batsman but he is a live wire in the field as well. It is not his form that has forced him to retire. It is his body which has forced him to do that. He is the one of the most fearless and destructive batsman of this era and he has produced that sound ‘tak’ perfectly & consistently through out his career. Whenever he bats, I always hear that crunching ‘tak’ from his bat and the next moment I see the ball sailing over the fence. He has produced great music with his bat over the years. Cricket fraternity is going to miss him. He will play domestic cricket for few more years and I am sure he is going to play some more memorable knocks. So don’t think you will not hear Baz’s music again. You will hear that music but not as frequently as you used to.