McCullum delighted with England start, calls for more of the same against India

By Sports Desk June 28, 2022

Brendon McCullum said England's performance across their series whitewash of New Zealand will have set "alarm bells" ringing throughout Test cricket, as he called for a similar approach against India on Friday.

With McCullum and Ben Stokes in place as the new red-ball coach-captain partnership, England recorded a 3-0 series win, with each triumph including chases of more than 250 runs, a first for a team in a single Test series.

After winning just one of their previous 17 Tests, it represented an incredible turnaround for England, who do not have long to wait until their next outing.

With the rescheduled Test against India due to start on Friday at Edgbaston, McCullum is hoping to see England's positive approach replicated.

"It'll be quite good fun to look at a new opponent," said McCullum, as reported by ESPNcricinfo. "The world Test champions 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. 

"We need to make sure against a different opposition we're well researched, well planned, well prepared, and try and roll out a similar kind of performance."

McCullum called for England to push their daring style to new limits against India, who are 2-1 up in a series originally scheduled to conclude last September.

"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," he added.

"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.

"It's not just about batting either. If you look at how we've fielded and how we've bowled as well, some of the field placements that the skipper's had in place and the mentality the guys have had, is constantly to try and chase wickets."

'Bazball' – the term given to England's entertaining style under McCullum – has won universal praise, but the head coach says he was fortunate to take on his new role when a clear desire for change existed.

"Timing is important – you have got to be ready for change," McCullum said. "I think taking over this job when the skipper and I have, there was a thirst for change. 

"When your results haven't been good, people are more receptive to change.

"The freshness of some of the ideas, the approach, stripping out some of the noise, but [also] getting guys to play the game for the game's sake. 

"The skipper has taken them 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."

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