Hindustan Times

In a season no stranger to sudden announcements of players opting to focus solely on white-ball cricket, Colin Munro’s joining the Alex Hales and Adil Rashid bandwagon makes sense.

Well, almost.

Thankfully, the only Test New Zealand’s firebrand cricketer was a part of came in 2013.

It’s not like New Zealand weren’t surviving. The troika of Guptill, Williamson, McCullum was going strong.


Five cricketing seasons ago, things were quite different.

As different as is cold London bloom to warm California sunshine.

Virat had struck ODI hundred number 17. Mitchell Santner hadn’t arrived. Jonny Bairstow had been missing in ODI action for the second year in succession. Darren Bravo was still a part of Windies set up and, Ross Taylor hadn’t discovered his second wind.

New Zealand have, since then, played 13 T20 series and Munro has been a part of a majority of them. But has not starred in a single Test.

It’s almost like the selectors have been fastidious about not exposing Munro to the rigours of the five-day contest, notoriously linked to draining out players, affecting their approach. Whether it was a hunch masquerading as a plan, it worked. It doesn’t matter. You take anything that gladly comes your way in Cricket.

From 2013 onward to present day, what Munro has managed in the past 5 years seems like an apt story accompanying the many triumphs of New Zealand in cricket’s briefest format. He has gone on to score 1013 T20 runs and 738 ODI runs.

Additionally, his unrepentant blade has bludgeoned 3 T20 hundreds- the most by any batsman in a sport renowned through the feats of Gayle, Kohli, Miller, Pollard and De Villiers- and has upped his strike rate to a thundering 163.


The adjectives keep coming and don’t seem to rest with phrases like ‘cataclysmic.’

There’s little doubt then about Munro’s decision to focus plainly on limited overs and T20 cricket. Give a fighter plane a platform from which to take off and it’ll reach for the skies. This is no ordinary Kiwi. It’s a bird wearing boxing gloves perpetually. The cricket pitch for Colin ‘hit it like a Hockey swing’ Munro is a boxing ring. What it delivers aren’t runs alone; rather knockout punches.

The only difference is there aren’t broken teeth or cranky muscles, just exhausted bowlers and economy rates that are swollen as if inflation announced itself surprisingly.

But Munro isn’t your choice of batsman if you are a cricket romantic obsessed with aesthetics. Not a batsman you’d relate to if the silken cover drives of a VVS Laxman make you clap in excitement. Not nearly a batsman who’d appeal if you identify with a Dravid-esque or ‘Kalliscious’ doggedly determined inning.

Munro is swashbuckle and nerve-wrecking excitement. The kinds the final few laps of grand prix racing serve fans. A kind of reward instant gratification serves when over-exhaustion at work springs up or when repetitive powerpoint slides dominate our lives .

Cricket loves impact players and Munro has been on the word go.

Few cricketers have achieved so much and yet seem so unwilling to befriend exhaustion. Every year since the onset of 2015, Munro’s been experiencing a spike in his ODI strike rate. From 85-to 96- to 115- to 117, Munro’s taking each series at a time and obliterating each opposition in the same fashion.

You could tell, in the way he sculpted his assault against Sri Lanka in 2016. In T20 lexicon, it ought to be asked, where were you on January 10 when Munro decided he’d push Lankan fielders at least ten rows back into the Eden Park stands. What came from a stay for 14 deliveries was cricket’s second-fastest fifty. Then, he squared up against inarguably the finest ODI side as fireworks painted the skies in Rajkot.

A 58-ball 109 derailed India.

But the worst treatment of the lot went to cricket’s familiar punching bags. The West Indies- on their winless NZ tour of 2017/18- returned with broken back. In that series, Munro turned into The Undertaker. He took to the field with a shovel. In striking 219 T20 runs with 15 sixes in the series, a feat no Gayle or Virat have managed thus far from a 3-match duel, Munro proved he made the right choice by sticking to Cricket, over Hockey.

As New Zealand look to cement a stronghold over international cricket- having arguably a better ODI unit- over South Africa, they’ve got to extract the best from this fierce left-hander.

Munro possesses a rare DNA for a big-hitting bat. His range of strokes is astonishingly big; a full range of his expansion sees bowlers tormented over cover to deep square leg. The customary heaves over long on are a given.

Wisden India

Yet at the same time, Munro isn’t disturbed by plummeting run-rates. His lifting the short ball over backward point is a sight to behold, when he uses the depth of the crease. It ought to be asked if Colin Munro is doing to T20s what Virat is doing to ODIs?


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