Captaincy came at the right time for Ben Stokes - Brendon McCullum
© Getty Images England head coach Brendon McCullum gave a rare interview before the third Test © Getty Images

Brendon McCullum believes the England captaincy has come at the right time for Ben Stokes and admitted he initially feared the two were too similar to succeed together.

McCullum was appointed as coach of the England Test side in the second week of May. By then, new managing director Rob Key had already taken the decision to make Stokes captain after Joe Root had stepped down at the start of the summer after five years in the post.

The fear in the lead-up and reaction to Stokes’ appointment was burdening a talismanic allrounder with yet more responsibility, especially after he had come back from a mental health break less than a year before.

McCullum, in a rare interview since taking his post, described the timing of Stokes’ appointment as “perfect”. And while talking up their similarities, acknowledged there were areas for them to improve on. Even after a strong start which sees England 2-0 up in this three-match series with New Zealand, the similarities between the pair will lead to some blindspots.

“I think where Stokesy’s 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,” McCullum told SENZ Radio.

“The danger probably was that we’d be too similar. 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 also played it coy when asked about his words at tea on the final day of the Trent Bridge Test. England still had 160 of their 299 target to achieve, but did so in just 16 overs as Jonny Bairstow and Stokes went postal. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo last week, Ben Foakes revealed McCullum was “like William Wallace” when giving his team talk.

“I don’t want to go too much into kind of what we what we said because it’s sacred in the dressing room,” said McCullum. “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’s moments in Test matches, there’s moments in series, there’s 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.

“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.

“And so the messaging is from both angles, coach and a captain, I think it is able to resonate a lot more often. And with a lot more authenticity, which is able to permeate right throughout the group. So there was a little snapshot, it’s not always going to work, we’re going to get beat at some point as well, trying to play the same method. But that’s what’s going to give us our greatest chance to ensure that England is competitive and that England is able to be at the top of the tree in Test cricket and ultimately will allow Test cricket to hopefully continue to thrive.”

NEWS RELATED

Gulmarg: The meadow of flowers; see pics

Gulmarg, a town nestled in the Pir Panjal Range of the Western Himalayas at an altitude of 8,690 feet above sea level is the most popular hill station in Kashmir. Gulmarg has been aptly christened, which when translated, literally means ‘Meadow of Flowers’ as its landscape is dotted with colourful ...

View more: Gulmarg: The meadow of flowers; see pics

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro Launched With Large Screen, GPS And More: Price And Specifications

© Provided by News18 Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro Launched With Large Screen, GPS And More: Price And Specifications Xiaomi last night launched its Xiaomi 12S Series of flagship smartphones. The Xiaomi 12S, Xiaomi 12S Pro, and the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. Alongside the flagship smartphones, Xiaomi has also launched ...

View more: Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro Launched With Large Screen, GPS And More: Price And Specifications

Xiaomi Band 7 Pro launched: Everything you need to know

Xiaomi recently launched the Band 7 Pro, a higher-end variant of the Xiaomi Band 7 fitness  tracker. While the series’ previous entries have been typical fitness trackers comprising an elongated narrow screen with a a slim overall form factor, the Xiaomi Band 7 Pro is closer to an entry-level smartwatch ...

View more: Xiaomi Band 7 Pro launched: Everything you need to know

UNBELIEVABLE! iPhone 13 at as low as Rs 3,599? Here's how to get this deal before iPhone 14 launch

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Apple’s flagship smartphone, the iPhone 14, is slated to be released in September of this year, but if you’re looking for a better price, here’s one to consider. In this deal, Flipkart provides numerous EMI choices. One such offer is available to ...

View more: UNBELIEVABLE! iPhone 13 at as low as Rs 3,599? Here's how to get this deal before iPhone 14 launch

Office leasing activity gains further pace in the April-June quarter

© Provided by Business Today Office leasing activity gains further pace in the April-June quarter Buoyed by the back-to-office activities that is currently the focus for the country’s corporate sector, the office leasing market is abuzz with activities. After touching the nail in mid-2020 due to COVID-induced lockdowns and ...

View more: Office leasing activity gains further pace in the April-June quarter

SBI General’s Cyber VaultEdge insurance plan launched – Check features

© Provided by The Financial Express Individuals exposed to any form of cyber risks can buy this policy for themselves and their family. Fraudulent transactions on credit cards, debit cards, theft of personal information and other online frauds are on the rise. For those looking to buy an insurance ...

View more: SBI General’s Cyber VaultEdge insurance plan launched – Check features

Edelweiss Broking to raise up to Rs 300 crore via NCD

© Provided by The Financial Express Edelweiss Broking is a technology-driven securities company in the country that offers a wide range of financial services, including broking services and distribution of financial products. Edelweiss Broking on Tuesday said it will raise up to Rs 300 crore through the public issuance ...

View more: Edelweiss Broking to raise up to Rs 300 crore via NCD

Storyboard18 | Malvika Mehra joins The Good Glamm Group as chief creative officer

© Moneycontrol Storyboard18 | Malvika Mehra joins The Good Glamm Group as chief creative officer Advertising veteran Malvika Mehra has joined The Good Glamm Group as chief creative officer. Mehra has previously worked with legacy agencies like Ogilvy, Grey and Dentsu. She also tested entrepreneurial waters with her own independent design ...

View more: Storyboard18 | Malvika Mehra joins The Good Glamm Group as chief creative officer

Assocham push for tech, research to bolster organ donation, transplants

IND vs ENG: Why was Stuart Broad asked to 'shut up' by umpire during Birmingham Test

Despite DCGI Nod, Here’s Why Biological E's Corbevax is Not Yet Available for Booster Shots

BML Munjal University announces to formulate International Advisory Board

Kerala culture minister courts controversy after criticising Indian Constitution

Mumbai: Two BMC engineers caught by ACB in bribery case

Juvenile held in Delhi for raping 12-year-old kin

How Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis allied to form government, a telltale

First European astronaut to walk on Moon by 2030, push to Mars

Video of a leopard hunting baby monkey in Panna Tiger Reserve goes viral – watch here

The realme Revolution - 4 years of The Tech Pioneer

IAF Agniveervayu Recruitment: Application submission ends today, direct link

OTHER NEWS