As the England Test team prepares to usher in a new era, Brendon McCullum is looking forward to working with new captain Ben Stokes, whom he describes as a “very strong leader.” McCullum was only recently selected England’s Test coach, with the team having just one win in 17 games heading into the series opener against his home country, New Zealand, which starts next week at Lord’s. Former Black Caps captain McCullum is known for taking chances, which helped New Zealand, the reigning world Test champions, turn things around, and his demeanor is expected to fit well with explosive all-rounder Stokes’ attacking instincts.

On Friday, McCullum told the media at Lord’s that the England job is his first as a red-ball coach. “I absolutely don’t coach technically,” he told Sky Sports. “Obviously, I understand the technique,” he adds, “but for me, it’s more about tactics and man-management, and trying to create the right environment for the team to be the best versions of themselves.”

The 40-year-old said, ” “As captain, we have a really strong leader in Stokesy, a ‘follow me’ kind of captain, so I suppose my responsibility will be to ensure that we stick to a lot of our message.

“I’ll look after the guys in the environment as well, attempting to help them thrive at a pace they may not have been able to do before, so it’ll be a big job.” According to McCullum, a better England squad would benefit Test cricket as a whole. “I feel red-ball cricket has always been the pinnacle of the game for me,” he remarked.

“If you look at where the game is right now, it’s obviously on the decrease, and the nation that can truly reverse that, in my view, is England, because of Test cricket’s history and, I think, the fan base and support that it has here.”

 

I feel that for us to be competitive in Test cricket, it will go a long way toward seeking to improve red-ball cricket’s image.”