ENG v NZ 2022: “Both of us have got motivation to try and improve the side” McCullum on his equation with Stokes

McCullum was appointed as the coach of the England Test team in May 2022.

Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have started their campaign with back to back victories | Getty

Ben Stokes was given the captaincy of the England Test team at the perfect time, according to England coach Brendon McCullum.

Given where Stokes is in his career and the fact that McCullum was also named coach at the same time, the former New Zealand opener thinks the moment is perfect for Stokes. He added that at first, he was concerned that the two were too similar to work well together.

A few weeks after the ECB announced Ben Stokes as the captain of the Test team, the 40-year-old was chosen to lead the English team.

After being named head coach, McCullum has seldom spoken to the media. However, he asserted in a conversation with SENZ Radio that England’s skipper in the longest format personality aligns ‘beautifully’ with him.

“I think where Stokesy is 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. The danger probably was that we'd be too similar," he stated.

SEE ALSO: Sarfaraz Khan dedicates ton to his father; reveals that his thigh thump celebration was for Sidhu Moosewala

The cricketer-turned-coach claimed that he and the Three Lion’s Test captain make sure to include other members of the team's leadership group when significant decisions are being made and alternate points of view are being taken into account.

“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.

“So understanding that we're not the perfect products either, but I think being able to bounce off each other and to also push each other towards the danger, as well because sometimes even you have doubts. But if you're able to have that filtering system between both the captain and the coach and to remain on task with what we're trying to achieve and the direction that we want to go, I think it gives you a better chance of ensuring that there's consistency with that message,” he added.

McCullum and Stokes have so far excelled, winning two straight Tests against New Zealand. According to reports, the former Kiwi cricketer played a key role in the second Test when England needed 160 runs to win at the tea break on day five but accomplished the target inside 16 overs.

However, McCullum didn’t share his thoughts when he was asked about his words at the tea break.

“I don't want to go too much into kind of what we said because it's sacred in the dressing room. But I was echoing the sentiments of the skipper really, his messaging has been incredibly powerful and simple, trying to remove the fear of failure.

“There are moments in Test matches, there are moments in series, there are moments in careers where you've got to be strong enough to stick to what the plan was initially. And just because there's more at risk, or there's more on the table, you shouldn't walk away from that. And that was very much the message, go out there and try to win lads, that's what we're here for. We've done well even if we get beat, we've played a good game of cricket and if someone's able to stand up to us and beat us when we throw everything at them then you've got to be content with it. And that was very much the messaging and the guys have been fantastic.

McCullum complimented captain Stokes for how the team had accepted him and for being able to communicate well with the captain.

"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.”

In the three-match series, the hosts have dominated New Zealand and won 2-0. The postponed Test match against India begins on July 1 following the third test against the Kiwis.

(SENZ Radio Inputs)


By Abhishek Ghan - 24 Jun, 2022

    Share Via