Brendon McCullum acknowledged that he first believed Ben Stokes as England captain and him being the coach would be too similar for the two to be successful as a team, but now thinks captaincy has come at the ideal time for Stokes.
In the second week of May, McCullum was chosen to lead the England Test team. After Joe Root resigned at the beginning of the summer after serving in the position for five years, Stokes had already been named captain, a decision that had already been made by incoming managing director Rob Key.
A talismanic all-rounder was being burdened with yet greater responsibility, especially given that he had only recently returned from a mental health hiatus.
Ben Stokes and I Share The Same Goals For The Team: Brendon McCullum
“I think where Stokesy’s at in his career, and his aspirations as a leader and where he sees his team needs to go, it aligns beautifully to his personality and also to mine,” McCullum told SENZ Radio.
“The danger probably was that we’d be too similar. But I think both of us have got such motivation to try and improve the side that we give and take in the areas we need to, and we try and ensure that we surround ourselves with leaders within the group as well, both on the field and also support staff who can fill in some of the gaps where we may not be as strong as well.
“I couldn’t have asked for a more receptive dressing room than what we’ve had in the last two Test matches. But a lot of that is down to the skipper, his way and his methods are very much aligned to mine.
“And so the messaging is from both angles, coach and a captain, I think it is able to resonate a lot more often. And with a lot more authenticity, which is able to permeate right throughout the group. So there was a little snapshot, it’s not always going to work, we’re going to get beat at some point as well, trying to play the same method.
But that’s what’s going to give us our greatest chance to ensure that England is competitive and that England is able to be at the top of the tree in Test cricket and ultimately will allow Test cricket to hopefully continue to thrive, “ he further added.
England is currently playing the 3rd Test against New Zealand and McCullum would hope to start his career as an international coach with a clean sweep.