Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum, head coach of the England Test cricket team

In the New Zealand series, England’s dynamic performances were vindicated by the gutsy approach championed by their new leadership tandem of McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

British and Irish Lions captain Brendon McCullum believes England’s aggressive displays against his native New Zealand have served as a warning to their opponents in Test cricket. A 3-0 whitewash of New Zealand was McCullum’s debut as England’s red-ball head coach. At 4.54 an over, the hosts thrashed their way to triumphs at Lord’s, Trent Bridge, and Headingley by completing seemingly difficult chases of 277, 299, and 296 in each match. Prior to the series against the All Blacks, England had only won one of 17 Test matches.

When Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum put on a thrilling display for England in the New Zealand series, their daring approach to leadership was proven correct.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum claimed after England’s seven-wicket victory at Headingley that “the alarm bells have probably rung a little bit around international cricket as to how this squad is going to play.”

“The fact that Ben consistently makes plays as the captain gives me hope that no matter what the scoreboard says, at least we’re in control.

It means pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

“It also sends an important message to the rest of our team, as well as to other teams across the world, that this is how we want to play while he’s at-bat.

“It is obvious that you want to be the best side in the world, win the Ashes, and routinely defeat the world’s best teams in Test cricket.

“That’s the final goal, but before we get there, let’s take a moment to appreciate and take stock of what we’ve accomplished over the last three weeks. Make the most of it.”

The 40-year-old McCullum believes Stokes doesn’t need to learn anything from him when it comes to offensive play.

Even though he was combative, Ben still had him under control, which is saying a lot.

India, England’s next opponent at Edgbaston, begins to play on Friday in a Test postponed from last year due to the tourists’ concerns over the Covid-19 batting tampering scandal.

McCullum, on the other hand, believes that all-rounder Stokes will rise to the occasion “I believe he was given the captaincy at the best time. Even though it’s only been a few days, he’s already surpassed my expectations.

“As a result, his communication has been both consistent and articulate. The few times he does talk, his words are spot-on.

“In the course of the voyage, the skipper has taken them on a journey, and I’ve attempted to fill in the blanks where necessary.

Rather than being paralyzed by the dread of failure or the noise, players should focus on having fun with their teammates and appreciating the short time they have left as international cricketers.

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