Overlooking Kirsten for England Test coach’s job is bizarre: Vaughan

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Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has questioned the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) decision to hire Kolkata Knight Riders coach, New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, to guide the country’s Test side, saying that South Africa’s Gary Kirsten was better suited for the job.

The 40-year-old McCullum, a former New Zealand captain, was recently appointed the England Test team coach by England men’s cricket managing director Rob Key after weeks of speculation. McCullum will quit his job with KKR at the end of the IPL 2022 season to join the Ben Stokes-led side for their upcoming three-Test series against New Zealand, starting on June 2 at Lord’s.

Vaughan termed McCullum’s appointment as a “big risk”, with him saying in his column for the Telegraph that, while the New Zealander is “the perfect mentor, thinker and culture driver”, his lack of experience could come in the way.

“He (McCullum) is the perfect mentor, thinker and culture driver who has done it before and has the t-shirt. What England have gone for in Brendon is exciting and a big name, but it is a big risk as well. He is taking over England at the right time. They are at their lowest ebb since the mid-1990s.

“He will not have to do much for us all to see a massive improvement but if it doesn’t happen quickly then there will be questions asked about his appointment and whether England would have been better off with a safer pair of hands, more experienced and know how to coach in Test cricket. But one thing is for sure, we are in for an interesting ride,” opined Vaughan.

Vaughan added that former SA opener, Kirsten, would have been a “safer pair of hands”. “England’s bold appointment of Brendon McCullum makes me nervous. If English cricket has overlooked someone like Gary Kirsten for a second time I do find it incredibly bizarre. I don’t see how we have made that call twice.”

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