Former England skipper Nasser Hussain credited England men’s team managing director Rob Key for the appointments of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum as England’s new Test captain and coach respectively.
On Tuesday (July 5), England defeated India by seven wickets in what was a back-on-the-wall fightback in the final two days of the fifth Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
How has England’s summer started under Ben Stokes?
England rode on phenomenal knocks of Joe Root (142*) and Jonny Bairstow (114*) to record their highest chase of 378 in Test cricket, surpassing the 359 against Australia at the Headingley in 2019.
England became the first Test side to chase a target of over 250 in four straight games following the heroics of 277 at Lord’s, 299 at Trent Bridge, and 296 at Headingley against New Zealand before scripting the historic result against India at Edgbaston.
Rob Key has done all right with the decisions he has made so far: Nasser Hussain
Ahead of the summer, England Test cricket was in turmoil after the Joe Root-led side suffered a humiliating 4-0 thrashing in the Ashes Down Under. The Ashes whitewash led to Ashley Giles stepping down as managing director of the team and head coach Chris Silverwood parting ways with ECB.
Root relinquished the Test captaincy after repeated failure in the Caribbean (1-0 loss in three Tests against West Indies). Hussain was effusive in his praise for commentator-turned-administrator Rob Key, who replaced Giles as England’s new managing director.
“What did Rob Key say when he appointed Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum to revive England’s Test cricket? Strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride? Well, Rob, we are doing just that.
“This record-breaking victory over India, following three equally impressive wins over New Zealand, has been fabulous to watch,” Hussain wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
“It is incredible now to think there were questions about all three of the big appointments made by England earlier this year, when they decided they had to move on from managing director Ashley Giles, Joe Root as captain and Chris Silverwood as a coach,” he added.
“When Key was appointed managing director, there were people who said, ‘What does he know about administration? He’s never done it’. Well, Key has done all right with the decisions he has made so far,” Hussain further mentioned.
England will face India in six white-ball games next with the first T20 International scheduled on Thursday (July 7) at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. England’s white-ball regulars like Stokes and Bairstow have been rested for the T20I series but will return to the ODI fold along with Root.