New England head coach Brendon McCullum has claimed following his team whitewashing New Zealand in the three-Test series that his boys have set “alarm bells” ringing around the world as to the kind of aggressive cricket they are going to play in future.
England thrashed reigning World Test champions New Zealand by seven wickets in the third Test at Headingley to clean sweep the series 3-0 after nearly two years of defeats at home and abroad, including a 0-4 drubbing in the Ashes and a 0-1 away loss in the Caribbean.
A confident McCullum, who took over as head coach after Chris Silverwood stepped down in the wake of the Ashes debacle, said following the Ben Stokes-led team’s big win that, “The world Test champions (New Zealand) were a formidable opponent to overcome, and the alarm bells have probably gone off somewhat around world cricket as to how this team is going to play.”
This could well be a warning for India, who play the rescheduled fifth Test from 2021 series at Edgbaston from July 1. While India are leading the series 2-1, the hosts’ emphatic wins against New Zealand in all three Tests would have boosted England’s morale going into the high-stakes game.
Asked how far England are willing to take the attacking approach, McCullum was quoted as saying by Daily Mail that, “I hope we take it too far, because then we’ll know exactly where that line is. Until you do that, you’re not really sure.
“We’ve seen it with the England white-ball stuff — there have been times where they’ve probably pushed too hard, and then they know. I think it’ll be the same with us, and we’ve got to keep exploring what that line is,” added McCullum.
He asked his player to be mindful of the fact that a career in international cricket is short and that it needs to be enjoyed.
“Enjoy the game with your mates and understand you have a very finite time as an international cricketer, rather than be paralysed by the fear of failure or the noise. The skipper has taken them (teammates) on a journey. I’ve tried to fill in the gaps where needed, and they’ve got instant gratification for that change. It doesn’t always happen. But that’s why those guys are so keen on this style,” added McCullum.