'One hour of madness cost us everything' says New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum after defeat to England


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The Independent Online

The New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was left to rue "one hour of madness" that cost his side a chance of a famous victory at Lord's. A day that began with such promise ended with the visitors steam-rollered by England for just 68 runs. After three-and-a half Tests of near parity, there is now daylight between the two teams.

"It's pretty tough to explain at this point," said a shell-shocked McCullum. "For so long in this game we were up with the play and at times we were dictating terms.

"Within an hour the game turned on its head and England continued to grow in confidence as they kept picking up regular wickets. We started to panic somewhat and the gap between the two teams started to widen.

"Our confidence started to subside and the difference between the two teams came down to that one hour of madness."

The madness on the field that saw six New Zealand wickets fall for 29 runs in less than an hour before lunch, was mirrored in the away dressing room.

"Guys were getting their pads on and pads off pretty quickly," revealed McCullum. "You're looking for a calm presence somewhere, whether that's out in the middle or in the changing room."

McCullum was gracious enough to admit that New Zealand's lack of calm was far from self-inflicted. "You've got to give credit where credit's due and Stuart Broad's spell of bowling was high class. He swung the ball beautifully, he was able to get the odd ball to hold its line up the slope and his lengths were impeccable."

Despite the size of the defeat, McCullum was keen to look beyond the chaos. "It's important we focus on things we did well. We were able to expose their top order to a degree with the swinging ball.

"From a bowling point of view there are ticks in the positives column. With the batting we have got to smooth out rough edges but it's important we don't throw out what's working for us and make sure our confidence does not get too low because of today's performance."