Brendon McCullum: Testing is a "big risk", but England's new head coach believes in success

Brendon McCullum: Testing is a “big risk”, but England’s new head coach believes in success


Brendon McCullum acknowledged that his appointment as the new Test Head of England was “a big risk for everyone”, but he believes there is a strong core of talent on which to start rebuilding the team.

McCullum was named the man to take on red ball cricket earlier this month and resigned from his role in the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL franchise. Not only is working in England his first internationally, it’s also the first involvement of a former New Zealand captain in a first-class game since his test retirement in 2016.

“I don’t think it’s really such a big deal, I think we’ll find out in time,” Sky Sports said at his revelation Friday when asked about his lack of experience. “I’m sure of the skills I have, I believe in the group, that we have to start.

“Of course it will take me a while to fully adapt to some of the methods and ways here, and maybe it will take a while for the guys to get used to me. But I’m looking forward to it. It’s all taking a big risk, but you won’t get anywhere if you’re not ready to take several risks in life. “

McCullum is expected to take on more management roles in England, allowing coaches under him to work with players and captain Ben Stokes to set the tone for a test team that has endured an 18-month standstill with only one win in the last 17 games.

“I’m definitely not training technically,” McCullum said. “I understand the technique, but for me it’s more about tactics, leading people and trying to give the team the right environment to go out and be the best version of himself.”

“With Stokesy as captain, we have a very strong leader, a real follower like me, and then my job will be to ensure that we are consistent with our reports, that we are able to take care of people in the environment and try to enable them to really grow at the speed they used to. they may not have reached. “

The ECB recently launched a high-performance review of the game, led by Andrew Strauss, with the aim of becoming the world’s best party in all formats of men’s play over the next five years. McCullum said the talent among the players he would work with was one of the things that attracted him to the job, but warned it would take some time for him to achieve this goal in Tests.

“Look at the English side and the players around English cricket, there are so many talents,” he said. “There are some guys who are probably a little untied, and there are some guys who still need to be discovered, but they definitely don’t have the talent. If you add world class players who have an incredible career, [the Test role] became quite attractive.

“It’s going to take a while. For me, it’s just an effort to get some of these guys who have a tremendous amount of talent to play their potential, try to play for each other and also be a good national team of England.”

“I hope we get good things along the way. I think in time.” [to] To get to number 1, the challenge for the Ashes would be nice and be up there when you talk about the best testing teams in the world. But we still have a long way to go. “

McCullum indicated that the test team under his leadership and Stokes is likely to play in a more “positive” style, even if they focus on players who show off their strengths rather than total attack.

He also said that part of the appeal of taking over the red ball slip was the challenge to help revive Test Cricket as a whole.

“I think when you look at my career, I’ve been able to play a lot of cricket with a red ball,” he said. “For me, even though I was lucky enough to make a living playing white balls around the world, franchise cricket, etc., red ball cricket has always been the pinnacle of the sport.

“If you look at where the game is likely to be at the moment, it’s probably on a slightly downward trend. For me, the nation that can really change is England because of the Cricket Test tradition here, as well as the fans and support it gets in this land.

“To be competitive in Test cricket, we will go a long way to testing and shifting the perception of red ball cricket.”

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