Mitchell McClenaghan celebrates with team-mates after
dismissing Luke Wright. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty
Mitchell McClenaghan's confidence is sky high, he's
comfortable in the New Zealand environment and has his captain
singing his praises on the back of his first eight short form
The strongly-built left armer is providing a cutting edge for
New Zealand with the ball, is loving his role (that of a
full-on aggressor) and credits captain Brendon McCullum and
coach Mike Hesson for his state of mind.
"That's a massive credit to the way Mike and Baz have
welcomed me into the team," he said. "I've got no pressure on
myself at all. The only pressure is what I put on myself."
McClenaghan has thrived in the national side since getting a
chance in both the T20 and one-day international series in
South Africa either side of New Year.
His two wickets in his first over against England in Hamilton
last night provided just the tonic for the hosts to go on and
wrap up a convincing 55-run victory to square the series 1-1
ahead of the decider in Wellington on Friday night.
"We look to try and use him in an attacking option
throughout," McCullum said. "That's his brief, to run and try
and take four for 20 every time he's at the wicket.
"Sometimes it's not going to work; you could easily go none
for 50. But we're trying to instil confidence, to be
aggressive and most of the time he's delivered for us. He's
really progressed as a cricketer in a short space of time."
In three ODIs in South Africa, McClenaghan took six wickets
at 23.5. In five T20s, he's taken seven wickets at 18.4.
His sights are now set on establishing himself in the ODI
side - the three-game series against England starts in
Hamilton on Sunday - with half an eye on the 2015 World Cup
to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
"That's my goal, to get in the team and cement myself with
the World Cup coming up. I really want to be established with
20 to 30 games in the team by then."
But for now, there's business to attend to in Wellington on
"We really need to make sure we keep on winning. That's how
we get our support and repay the faith," he said.
- David Leggat of the New Zealand Herald