Newly-appointed England’s red-ball team coach Brendon McCullum said the three lions can change the “downward trend” in Test cricket. McCullum, who will start his journey as England’s red-ball coach in the upcoming series against New Zealand said Test cricket is the ultimate format but it has seen a downward trend in recent times.
“I played a lot of white-ball cricket as well as red-ball cricket, and Test cricket is the pinnacle of the sport for me,” McCullum said. “If you look where the game sits around the world, it’s probably on a slightly downward trend. One nation that can really change things is England, with the tradition and the fan following. For us to be competitive can shift the perception. “
England have gone through one of their worst times in Test cricket in the last 12 months or so. They are languishing at the bottom of the WTC points table with just 1 win in 13 matches. England’s dismal record in recent times forced Joe Root to step down from captaincy. England and Wales Cricket Board then appointed all-rounder Ben Stokes as the Test captain.
Former New Zealand captain McCullum said it is going to time but England will bounce back as they have the talent and the potential.
“It’s going to take time,” he said. “Trying to get these guys, who have an immense amount of talent, playing to their potential, playing for one another, be a good representation of England. Hopefully, we will be able to achieve some good stuff along the way. Certainly, in time we can get to No1, challenge for the Ashes and be up there when talking about the best teams in the world. We have a long way to go. “
McCullum who has previously coached only T20 sides like Kolkata Knight Riders and the Trinbago Knight Riders said his first job is “free” the players. The New Zealand legend said his focus of him would be more on man-management rather the technical aspects of the game.
“The last year and a half has been trying for this side and the people involved,” he says. “My job instantly is trying to free them up. I certainly don’t coach technically. I understand technique, obviously, but for me it’s more about tactics and man-management, providing the right environment to make the guys the best versions of themselves. In Stokesy, we have a strong leader, a follow-me kind of captain. My job will be to ensure we are consistent with our messaging, look after guys and allow them to grow.
“We will be positive. You have a natural speed you travel at with Stokes as captain. With me as coach, I will be trying to ensure the guys play their best games, ”McCullum added.
The first England vs New Zealand Test match will begin on June 2 at Lord’s.