McCullum uninterested by England rotation as he suggests Anderson and Broad can play together

By Sports Desk May 27, 2022

Brendon McCullum insists he will pick his best England Test side at every opportunity with no interest in rest and rotation, while he suggested James Anderson and Stuart Broad can still work in tandem.

Anderson and Broad were surprise omissions for the tour of the West Indies in March, which ended in a 1-0 series defeat for Joe Root before he stepped down as England Test captain.

Ben Stokes was appointed as the successor to Root, who oversaw just one win in his last 17 Tests, while McCullum was named as red-ball coach, beating Gary Kirsten to the position.

McCullum's first task sees him face his home country New Zealand, starting at Lord's next Thursday, and he hinted Anderson and Broad – who have 1,117 Test wickets between them – could feature together.

"Why not? They can work together," he said to BBC Sport of the veteran bowling pair. "They have had successful careers together.

"There might have been times when the combination might not have been as good as everyone hoped, but there are circumstances around that – there might not have been enough runs, or they were bowling in benign conditions. I'm certainly not against picking them together.

"I'll probably get in trouble, but I like to pick the best team every time.

"My job will be to plan as if you'll live forever, but live as if you'll die tomorrow."

McCullum also sees similarities between himself and new captain Stokes, with the pair both known for their attacking batting displays in five-day cricket.

"He's going to be a wonderful leader," said McCullum. "He plays the game how I like it to be played and puts bums on seats.

"He might fly. He might grab the captaincy and go to a whole new level again. We'll just play what we see and feel in that moment – and I'm sure the relationship between Stokesy and I will really flourish."

There remain concerns over McCullum's experience, given he has only ever coached white-ball franchises Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinbago Knight Riders.

However, he played 101 Tests for his country and believes he will coach differently to the aggressive batting style he opted for as a player.

"I'm very different as a coach to how I was as a player," he added.

"I like to allow guys to get to where they need to, to realise their potential rather than play how I played. I'd never want anyone to do that – that comes with an immense amount of disappointment at times. It's not for everyone, that style.

"Your job as coach is to understand everyone's game, understand them as people, get to know them and understand their aspirations. You try to piece that all together for one common goal."

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