Brendon McCullum’s new challenge as the England cricket team’s Test coach will be a tough one. The set-up is completely new as the Ben Stokes-led squad aims to recover from their recent poor form in Test cricket. They were drubbed 4-0 in the last Ashes Test series and that has led to widespread changes in the English cricket setup. Stokes’ appointment as the new Test captain and McCullum’s as coach is part of those changes. However, McCullum has no prior experience of coaching an international side, or indeed, in the longer format — be it Tests or First Class.
He has only guided Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League and the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.
Indian cricket team player Dinesh Karthik, who is in great form for KKR in the IPL 2022 under coach McCullum, says that not coaching an international team before will add to the challenge of the New Zealand great.
“I think there will be certain things that will be definitely new to Brendon McCullum,” he said on the ICC Review. “There is no doubt about it. Even though he has done his coaching bit for Kolkata Knight Riders and for Trinbago Knight Riders, I think red-ball cricket is a completely different kettle of fish.”
Karthik added that it will be an interesting time for England Test cricket team, which after a loss in the Ashes also lost a series in the West Indies too.
“So it’s going to be very interesting when Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum meet up and figure out what’s the positive way for England cricket to do things. Because there will be times when they are obviously faced with tough wickets and the batters sometimes will need to find a way between what is being positive and what is being reckless. I think that’ll be a very interesting battle for them,” Karthik said.
He also gave lowdown on how the atmosphere might be in the dressing room having worked with McCullum in the KKR setup.
“It will be a very relaxed dressing room. I’ve seen that he is somebody who focuses a lot on playing a lot of sports off the field and off the field having a lot of fun as well,” Karthik said.
“He emphasizes a lot on it like a young kid who likes to play all the sports possible and gets very physical as well. He is a very strong man, there is no doubt about it. Sometimes even too strong for the current cricketers today. It will be a very relaxed dressing room, a very chill dressing room.
“It’ll be very interesting how the youngsters are able to draw energy from that and make sure they are doing all things right to take English cricket forward.”
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