Munro steps up in ‘mentor’ McCullum’s role


With Martin Guptill suffering from injuries and a lack of form, New Zealand were missing their typical belligerence at the top of the order after Brendon McCullum‘s retirement. On New Zealand’s tour of India, Colin Munro was promoted to open, a role he is beginning to master, particularly in T20s.

With an aggressive approach similar to his ‘mentor’ McCullum, Munro smashed his third T20I hundred against West Indies in the final game in Mount Maunganui. “He keeps telling me the same things as he did when I played under him – stand still, be aggressive, and just have some fun,” Munro said. “I’ll keep using Brendon McCullum as my mentor, and the experience of Martin Guptill as well. Batting with him day-in, day-out. As long as I can stay in a clear frame of mind, I think I’ll be alright.

“I’m enjoying my cricket at the moment, being in this environment. We’re being given the freedom to go out there and express ourselves. I’ve got to take the good and the bad when I go out and play the way I do. I’m fortunate enough now that it’s going well, but it’s not always going to go well, so I’ve just got to ride this wave as long as I can.”

The one factor Munro attributed to his success was the experience of having faced most of the West Indies bowlers at the Caribbean Premier League this year, where he was named Trinbago Knight Rider’s MVP in a victorious season.

“Quite a fair bit to be honest, playing against most of those guys for two years in a row has gone a long way,” he said. “I’m confident. Without sounding cocky, I’m hitting the ball well and getting into good positions. I’ve played against every single player, I knew what they’d try and do. I was just lucky enough that my preparation has been good enough.

With ten ODIs remaining this summer, including a five-match series against Pakistan which begins from January 6, Munro’s goal is to improve his returns in the format. In six ODIs as an opener, Munro has scored 213 runs at an average of 35.50, with a highest score of 75.

“It’s still pretty new in the one-day format, so I’ll still keep working hard with that,” Munro said. “I think a lot of talk has been about how bad the West Indies are, but no-one’s really given us the credit.

“The way we’ve played as a team, we’ve raised the bar every single game and got better and better, and I think if we can keep doing that against Pakistan, we’ll go a long way to winning that series.”



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