McCullum hopeful of Eden Park return


Brendon McCullum is optimistic of being fit for the third and final one-day international against Pakistan on Sunday.

The Black Caps captain has been sidelined since suffering a back injury during the second ODI against Sri Lanka last month.

But McCullum is hoping to make his return at Eden Park this weekend as New Zealand, who hold a 1-0 lead, attempt to seal a series win after the second ODI in Napier was washed out on Thursday.

He said on Saturday: "I've had a good couple of hits [in a net session]. It's probably not 100 per cent, there's a bit of stiffness so hopefully I'll be fine for tomorrow."

McCullum watched on as Kane Williamson captained in his absence and the 34-year-old was full of praise for the way the stand-in skipper led the side.

He said: "I thought Kane did an outstanding job as captain. You're pretty proud when you step back and see that the team still has the same strong values that you tried to instil within the group over the period of time."

McCullum will retire after the second Test against Australia in Christchurch next month and the destructive batsman is determined to end his career on a high note.

He added: "If anything, it's probably a release of pressure when you know that the time in the spotlight is starting to come towards the end.

"I'm just looking forward to the last month of being around the boys, playing amongst the New Zealand cricket team, and having a good time.

"Hopefully if we can win a few games and continue what we've done over the last 12-18 months - the things that have put smiles on the faces of New Zealand fans.

"Those that know me know I'm either all-in or all out. I'm committed through to the end of the Australian series. I'm really excited about that. I've got a little bit of fight left in me for that series."