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Ben Foakes reveals new England coach Brendon McCullum New Zealand win with ‘Braveheart-style speech’

Ben Foakes reveals new England Test coach Brendon McCullum inspired the squad to victory against New Zealand with a ‘Braveheart-style’ speech – praising the ‘fun’ of their reckless new approach

  • Ben Foakes has opened up on coach Brendon McCullum’s rousing speech at tea
  • Last day’s words inspired England’s record-breaking win against New Zealand
  • Wicketkeeper Foakes also shared how ‘fun’ it is to play under McCullum

Ben Foakes has compared Brendon McCullum’s rousing speech over tea on the final day of England’s record-breaking second Test win over New Zealand to Braveheart.

England needed 160 from 38 overs in the final session with four wickets down at Trent Bridge, but the new coach’s words were so great that Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes destroyed their goal in a match-winning score of 179 in just 20.1 about . They romp home with 22 overs to spare.

‘Baz’ team chat over tea – it was like William Wallace!’ said the goalkeeper batsman who started the series under pressure but responded positively with gloves and bat. “After he was done, everyone desperately wanted to get out.

Ben Foakes (pictured) praised Brendon McCullum's rousing speech at Trent Bridge

Ben Foakes (pictured) praised Brendon McCullum’s rousing speech at Trent Bridge

Foakes and captain Ben Stokes were in the fold as England sealed a remarkable chase

Foakes and captain Ben Stokes were in the fold as England sealed a remarkable chase

“The traditional approach to testing in that situation would be ‘look how it goes, see how many wickets we have left, and if the situation isn’t there, are we shut up?’

He said, ‘No, we don’t. We win this game. If we don’t do it this way, we’ve done it the right way. It doesn’t matter if we don’t win the game.” And it took the pressure off.”

It’s an approach – Baz Ball if you will – that has seemingly transformed an England squad that had won just one of their previous 17 Tests into a team good enough not only to beat the Test world champion in successive Tests, but to also to do with style and élan.

Jonny Bairstow and Stokes destroyed their goal in a match-winning score of 179

Jonny Bairstow and Stokes destroyed their goal in a match-winning score of 179

Foakes also discussed how much 'fun' it is to play under new test boss Brendon McCullum

Foakes also discussed how much ‘fun’ it is to play under new test boss Brendon McCullum

“It has changed the way I look at Test cricket,” said Foakes. “Of course when you play for England there is a lot of pressure, a lot of criticism, and if you think too much about that, it weighs on you. But over the past two weeks it has become clear how great playing can be for England.

Pioneering is too strong a term for that, but when I think about it, my approach to test cricket has always been about endurance and meant to be calculated.

“When you play for England, there’s another side to it: the entertainment factor. It’s a really fun time to be involved.”

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