Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum Friday owned up to “mixed” feelings when he consented to assume the job of pivoting England’s cricket fortunes.
The 40-year-old, eminent for a “smash or crash” approach during his 101-Test career, which just finished a long time back, was on Thursday named as the new head coach of an England cricket side that has won only one of its last 17 Tests.
It Is A Big Enough Challange To Risk It All: Brendon McCullum
“Really excited, but also some bittersweet stuff in regards to having to turn the page on a couple of things,” McCullum told SENZ radio from India, where he is currently coaching Indian Premier League team Kolkata Knight Riders.
“In life, I think, if you’re going to change what you’re doing, then make sure it’s worth the risk of doing so and this is a big enough challenge to risk that, that’s for sure.”
McCullum’s first task will plan England for a three-Test series against New Zealand in June, which he said it would be “somewhat intriguing” when asked how he would feel when the national anthems are played.
“Obviously, New Zealand is what I was able to be part of for so long and I’m incredibly passionate about what we built.”
McCullum, humiliated in his initial days as New Zealand skipper when the side was bowled out for a pitiful 45 against South Africa in 2013, is viewed as having had an essential impact in forming the side into a main cricket power and presently World Test champions.
Test Cricket Is My Real Love: Brendon McCullum
He sees his attacking approach – – he holds the records for the quickest Test century and the most Test sixes – – as an ideal fit with England skipper Ben Stokes, who additionally inclines toward an attacking game, and said they have an amazing chance to rejuvenate Test cricket.
“And what an opportunity. What a chance in your life to be able to make a sizeable change and difference to a country as big as what England is,” he said.
“For me, Test cricket is on a downward trend, in regards to popularity and where it sits. Whilst I was lucky enough to have a career in franchise cricket and white-ball cricket and all of that, Test cricket is my real love.
“I sort of look at it and think if anyone is going to reinvigorate Test cricket and get it popular again, and try and attract the next generation of people, then it’s going to be England.
“So if you can be at the real forefront of that, by playing an attractive brand of cricket which you play with a smile on your face and you try and entertain, then Test cricket has got a chance.”
As for his first series against New Zealand, McCullum was coy about England’s prospects. “We’re playing against the World Test champions so we’re massive underdogs.”