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We passed up a good opportunity: McCullum

We'd love Australia to play some excellent cricket tomorrow, says the New Zealand skipper.

We passed up a good opportunity: McCullum - Cricket News
Kane Williamson and Brendon MCCullum of New Zealand.
Brendon, your fate is out of your hands now. Pretty gut wrenching way for things to go today?
BRENDON McCULLUM: Yeah, it was certainly not nice when you leave your destiny in someone else's hands. We'll have to watch tomorrow's game and see what unfolds. But we had an opportunity today and we passed it up. So whatever unfolds from here will require some luck, and if we do get an opportunity, then great. If not, we know we've had a chance here and we passed it up.
Probably a question for both of you, actually, what is your take on the no ball that either was or wasn't?
BRENDON McCULLUM: Well, that was close. I didn't have a problem with it. I thought it was real close. Benefit of the doubt to the bowler. That's one of those things when you're either on the green or sometimes you don't. If it had been overturned, I don't think they would have been tough to upset, and as it stood, we're not too upset either.
Brendon, looking at that run chase, it was really tough at the start for the top order. I think you guys were 59 for 4 after 12. Was that --not the defining moment, but did that take a big chunk out of you?
BRENDON McCULLUM: Yeah, it was definitely a huge moment. I thought we did a really good job with the ball on the latter part of the inning restricting them to the score that we did. And we were comfortable chasing that total. I thought with one short side and the pitch, we didn't think it was too bad. It was certainly achievable.
they bowled brilliantly at the start, and swung the ball with good pace and put us under a lot of pressure. Obviously, the run rate we weren't quite able to generate either which coupled with the wickets was always going to make things tough. But pitching it the way Kane and also Corey on debut, they got us as close as what we did and it could prove to be incredibly valuable if the result does go our way tomorrow as well the fact that we got so close.
But for a little while there, I thought these boys were going to get it done. But it would have been a fantastic effort and I thought they did a good job getting us as close as they did.
You mentioned Corey Anderson there. What was the rationale bringing him in? You had other options there as well you could have --
BRENDON McCULLUM: Yeah, just with the balance of the side, with obviously Grant not being available to bowl as well as Tim, we sort of went for the straight all‑rounder, a guy who can obviously bowl reasonable pace and obviously bat as well as what he can at number 7 as well. So we went for that option as well as a couple of the other guys in the squad.
It was a tough call, but we went for that option. I thought he did a great job today with limited opportunities. We thought he did a really good job, and it shows encouraging signs for what lies ahead in his career.
Kane, how much of a reaction or what went through your mind when you saw James Anderson ball jag back so much early on in the 6th over?

KANE WILLIAMSON: Yeah, it was just a decent nut and one that you probably thought that wouldn't happen too many times again, so I just tried to put it out of my mind and keep going. The challenge was up on that scoreboard, and as I said, there wasn't much time to worry much about that.
Kane, did you feel you had the run chase, well not under control, but you were quite confident at that stage just before the dismissal?

KANE WILLIAMSON: Yeah, I think when we needed 10 we certainly knew we were in it. And we also knew that it required a lot of work. It's just a shame that a couple of us lost our wickets at key times or couldn't clear the rope at key times and put us on the back seat again. And that was sort of reflected throughout our innings a little bit where we gained momentum and lost it at key times.
Brendon, how much pressure did you feel under when you came in with those early wickets down? It was a pretty testing time. You probably couldn't be as flamboyant as you normally would be?
BRENDON McCULLUM: Yeah, every time you bat you're under a certain amount of pressure. And today was no different. It was still stripping it right back and still the fundamentals required to get yourself underway and also form a partnership with Kane as it was today. So, trying to obviously remove the pressure situation from your thinking and trying to just concentrate on the simple task of just watch the ball and trying to get yourself underway.
But I think I gave myself every opportunity to get under way, and hit one a long hop deep down deep square’s throat, so that can obviously happen at times. If that clears them, who knows what could have unfolded. But I guess that’s why it is cricket, and it’s a hell of a game.
The rain would have helped you guys if it did get washed out. Was it hard? Was it always in the back of your mind? Was it hard to put that out of your mind and just bat and focus on the game at hand?
BRENDON McCULLUM: Yeah, it's always a tough one when you know if it does rain, things are obviously going to work out well for you. But we were pretty clear in our messages that if we get on the park, we've got a huge job today. If we can play the cricket we know we're capable of playing, then we'll get the results that we want to. So, I think every team goes through that sort of scenario when the rain is falling, but, again, the message is very clear. We need to focus on what is the job at hand, and that was to try to get the points, and unfortunately we weren't able to.
What are your expectations as the skipper from senior players like Ross Taylor who’s pit LBW and seeks a review, mostly out of desperation? What are your thoughts as a captain or your expectations from players like Ross Taylor who don't stand up on big match days?
BRENDON McCULLUM: I think that's a bit harsh. He's churned out an excellent career to date. It's not just Ross, there’s many big players on our team who missed out today, but that is the game we play. You can't get runs every time as well. As far as the review goes, I thought it was definitely a reviewable, if that's a word, option, as both umpires called for both hitting them outside or on off stump and also going over would testify, so it was definitely a ball that was worth reviewing.
But in terms of big players missing out today, that is the game we play sometimes. It would be great if we could all stand up at any given moment, but it's why it's a hard game.
How confident are you in Australia's ability to do you a favor?
BRENDON McCULLUM: Yeah, well, we'll see what unfolds, I guess. We'd love Australia to play some excellent cricket tomorrow, but obviously not too good, either. But, look, as I said earlier, we had our opportunity today and we missed out and we passed up that opportunity. So if we find ourselves out of the tournament, we can't be upset. But if we do get another opportunity through Australia doing the job for us tomorrow, then who knows what can happen in that semi-final.
It sounds like you think it’s a long shot though.
BRENDON McCULLUM: No, I don't think it's a long shot. No, you think that. I think they're obviously a very good team, and they have the potential to play some winning cricket, and Sri Lanka, they're a good team as well. So I think it's going to be an excellent game. We just hope that the cards fall our way, I guess.
Brendon, assuming that the campaign does end here if Sri Lanka win tomorrow, what is the most disappointing aspect of it for you, because we were expected to reach the semis, I think?

BRENDON McCULLUM: I think it was always going to be a tough competition, we know that. Obviously, scrambling across the line in that first game. We had ourselves well‑placed in the remaining two games to be able to make that semi-final. Australia, we’ll never know what would have happened in that run chase. Whilst we may have been confident in terms of the workings of the group, who knows what would have unfolded.
Today we had an opportunity and we missed it again. Trying to review the three games, let's say, that we've bowled brilliantly, we fielded okay, and our batting needs some work.
Have you ever played a game when someone's taken four catches and dropped three catches?
BRENDON McCULLUM: No, the ball kept following him around. Yeah, I actually didn't even know he had taken four. I thought he had taken three but then we counted them up afterwards. But he's a brilliant fielder. Nathan, today, dropped a couple of catches. I think he's still probably up in terms of his fielding ability. So certainly won't begrudge him for that.
But obviously it makes it hard when you do, and we dropped four catches today. We know we weren't quite at our best, but I still think that overall through the tournament, our fielding has been okay.

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