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Brendon McCullum: Test appointment a ‘big risk’ but England’s new head coach confident of success

Brendon McCullum has admitted his appointment as new England Test head coach was “a big risk taken by everyone”, but believes there is a strong core of talent to start rebuilding the squad.

McCullum was named as the man who took the lead in red-ball cricket earlier this month, stepping down from his role with IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders. Not only is the England job his first at international level, it is also the former New Zealand captain’s first involvement in the first-class competition since his retirement from Test in 2016.

“I don’t think it’s really that much of a problem, I think we’ll find out in time,” he told Sky Sports during his reveal on Friday, when asked about his lack of experience. “I have confidence in the skills I have, confidence in the group that we have to start things.

“Of course it will take me a while to get fully used to some of the methods and the ways here, and it may take guys a while to adjust to me too. But I’m looking forward to it. It’s a Everyone is taking a big risk, but you’re not going to get anywhere unless you’re willing to take a few risks in life.”

McCullum is expected to take on more of the managerial role at England, allowing the coaches under him to work with the players and captain, Ben Stokes, to set the tone for the test team, which has endured a fallow 18 months with only one win in their last 17 games.

“I certainly don’t coach technically,” said McCullum. “I understand the technique, but for me it’s more about tactics, man management and trying to give the team the right environment to go out and be the best version of themselves.

“With Stokesy captain, we have a very strong leader, a real follow me captain, and then it will be my job to make sure we are consistent with our messages, we are able to look after the guys in the area.” and really try to grow them at a rate they may not have had before.”

The ECB recently launched a high-performance review of the game under Andrew Strauss, with the aim of becoming the best team in the world in all formats of men’s game over the next five years. McCullum said the talent among the players he will be working with was one of the things that drew him to the job, but warned it would take time to achieve that goal in Tests.

“You look at the England side and the players around English cricket, there’s so much talent there,” he said. “There are a few guys who are probably a little off, and there are also a few guys who are yet to be discovered, but certainly no shortage of talent. When you add in some world class players who have had incredible careers, it’s [the Test role] become very attractive.

“It will take time. For me it’s just trying to get some of these guys who have a tremendous amount of talent to play to their potential, try to play for each other and also have a good representation of England to be.

“Hopefully we can achieve some good things along the way. I think definitely in time [to] to No. 1, challenge to the Ashes would be nice, and be there when you talk about the best test teams in the world. But we still have a long way to go for that.”

McCullum indicated that the test team led by himself and Stokes would likely play in a “more positive” style, although the focus would be on players performing to their strengths rather than an all-out attack.

He also said that part of the appeal of taking over the red ball was the challenge of reviving the test cricket as a whole.

“If you look at my career, I think I’ve been able to play quite a bit of red ball cricket,” he said. “For me, although I have been fortunate enough to earn a good income from the white ball game around the world, franchise cricket, etc., red ball cricket has always been the pinnacle of the sport.

“If you look at where the game is likely to be at the moment, it’s probably on a slightly downward trend. For me, England is the country that can really change, because of the tradition of test cricket here, also the fans that follow and the support it comes in. this country.

“So to be competitive in Test cricket, we will go a long way to try and change the perception of red ball cricket.”

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