England Test team head coach Brendon McCullum has said that with the stakes so high in international cricket, guiding a team is a difficult task, and one should also be ready for disappointments along the way.
The 40-year-old former New Zealand cricketer is being credited with the revival of England Test cricket after the team led by new skipper, all-rounder Ben Stokes, has won four back-to-back matches, including three Tests against New Zealand and the rescheduled fifth Test against India at Edgbaston where the hosts chased down a record total to win by seven wickets.
Before McCullum took over as England coach, the team coached by Chris Silverwood had a forgettable year, losing 11 games out of 18 and winning only two.
McCullum added that the series loss for reigning World Test champions New Zealand was a reminder for him that one should never “get too far in front of yourself as a coach”.
“It’s obviously tough times when you’re in the coaching world and your team, with such high expectations, isn’t quite delivering,” McCullum said on SENZ Breakfast.
“I guess from my point of view, it’s (New Zealand losing the series 0-3) a nice reminder that you never get too far in front of yourself as a coach. You don’t get too high when things are good and you don’t get too low when things aren’t,” added McCullum.
He added that being surrounded by people who trust a coach’s processes is very important when the team is faring poorly.
“You just try and stick to what you need to do and surround yourself with the best people, which I think is really key, and that’s something for me as well (to keep in mind),” he said.
“When you get one opportunity to be in these kinds of jobs, you’ve got to make sure that you’ve got people around you who you think not only do you trust but also are able to drive the team forward and you have robust conversations with.
“You’re not all singing from the same song sheet all the time, there are challenges and then there’s a clear line of communication (and) ultimately you’re responsible for those decisions. But you’ve got to have good people around you, that would be the thing that I’ve sort of picked up and it’s been fascinating to watch for sure.”
England next play South Africa in a three-Test series in August-September, with the opening match set to be played at Lord’s from August 17.