England Test coach Brendon McCullum said that he is eager to support ‘strong leader’ Ben Stokes and lauded him for being a ‘follow me’ kind of captain. Both Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum were appointed at their respective positions this month as England built towards a new future.
McCullum was recently appointed to the role of England Test coach, with the team on a woeful run of one win in 17 matches ahead of their series opener against his native New Zealand starting at Lord’s next week.
Ben Stokes will take over from Joe Root, who stepped down as captain as the England and Wales Cricket Board welcomed a new managing director of the England team in Rob Key.
The England job is McCullum’s first as a red-ball coach, a point he acknowledged to reporters at Lord’s on Friday.
“I certainly don’t coach technically. I understand the technique obviously but for me it’s more around tactics and man-management and trying to provide the right environment for the team to try and go out there and be the best versions of themselves.
“I think with Stokesy as captain we’ve got a really strong leader, a ‘follow me’ type of captain and so I think my job will be to try and ensure that we’re consistent with a lot of our messaging.
“I’ll look after the guys inside the environment as well and try and allow them to really grow at a speed which they might not have got to previously, so it’s a big challenge,” McCullum told Sky Sports.
England will play three Tests against New Zealand and then will face India in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston later in July.
An Improved England Side Would Benefit Test Cricket: Brendon McCullum
Furthermore, the England squad which was announced saw the return of veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad to the mix in the addition to new names in Matthew Potts and Harry Brook.
Meanwhile, McCullum said that an improved England side will make Test cricket better. He said:
“I think for me red-ball cricket has always been the pinnacle of the sport. If you look at where the game sits currently, it’s probably on a bit of a downward trend and to me the nation that can really change that is England — because of the tradition of Test cricket here in England and I guess the fan following and the support that it gets in this country.
For us to be competitive in Test cricket, I think will go a long way in trying to be able to hopefully just shift that a little bit in terms of the perception of red-ball cricket.”