MCCULLUM KEY FOR KIWIS
PAKISTAN and New Zealand both claimed the high ground on the eve of today’s first Test in Christchurch, with the Black Caps drawing inspiration from Brendon McCullum’s classic farewell innings. Just days after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rattled the city and devastated parts of the South Island, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq looked to cash in on a perceived lack of confidence in the New Zealand ranks after their disastrous tour of India, where they suffered a series whitewash. But although Pakistan are on a high after crushing the West Indies last month, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson claimed his side was rejuvenated by returning to home conditions and familiar seamer-friendly wickets. “It’s important when you come off the back of that India tour, which was extremely tough, that we still come back here and play with freedom, express our skills. When we do we play our best cricket,” he said.