Brendon Mccullum: We’ll push for results. If we are outplayed, it’s okay.

Brendon McCullum says England will continue their attacking cricket mantra in Pakistan ahead of a series in which he hopes his players will experience “the greatest achievement” of winning abroad.

England’s first test tour of Pakistan in 17 years is also a first overseas mission for the McCullum-Ben Stokes revolution that swept through the local summer. Six wins in seven Tests sparked interest in England’s longer format, gaining many fans along the way.

Now, with the team in unknown condition – only James Anderson has toured Pakistan before – McCullum has urged a similar approach and is willing to take defeat in stride as long as the intention is maintained. He even posited that Stokes, as captain, will do everything possible to ensure that none of the three Tests, the first of which begins on Thursday in Rawalpindi, ends in a draw.

“Winning away from home is the greatest achievement you can achieve as a Test player and as a Test team,” McCullum said at England’s first news conference since arriving in the county on Sunday morning.

“We understand the size of the challenge ahead of us. But that’s great, that’s why you want to play. You don’t want easy challenges, you want to take on the best on their own terms and you want to prove and prove where you are as a side. I’m very excited. I don’t know if we’re going to win the series. I can almost guarantee that when the skipper comes here in 48 hours, he will say there will be no tie in the series.

“We will certainly push for results because we feel it is our obligation to try to ensure that people leave entertained. And if they beat us, we know Pakistan will have played well. I hope we play well and if they beat us, that’s fine too. Looking forward to the looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to the hospitality. And hopefully a few weeks from now everyone will be saying it’s been an incredible series.”

The crowds will help in that push toward replication of the summer’s work. Rawalpindi, Multan and Karachi are all set to sell, adding to the theater of the occasion. It won’t be entirely one-sided with a group of England supporters, including the Nutty Army, expected in the stands. McCullum anticipates that will drive his work over the next month.

“The guys have already said that they’re very excited to play in front of a full house here, it’s going to be a good atmosphere, so they’re very excited,” he said. “That’s what we want from red ball cricket around the world, packed stadiums and fans supporting their home team.

“Having that on the road is the greatest compliment…we’re lucky the crowd here is packed and that’s what we want. The boss wants them to be rock stars and to be a rock star you have to play in front of the big houses. We have an opportunity to do that.”

Both teams trained side by side in the grounds of the Rawalpindi Cricket Ground on Monday morning. Only Mark Wood, who McCullum confirmed will not play in the first Test as he continues to recover from the hip injury sustained during the T20 World Cup, did not take part in the session.

The pitch was uncovered throughout, and players on both sides took the opportunity to observe the surface, including McCullum.

“It looks good, but I hope it changes in the next few days, to see how things work out. I think one of the things we’ve talked about is adapting to what we’re given and not getting too caught up.” our preconceived thoughts. Just play what is in front of us and be prepared to adapt accordingly.”

Adapting is the name of the game in these places, especially if England want to boost the score. Two of the last four Tests at this venue have ended in a draw, the latest of which, Australia’s visit here in March 2022, saw the score ratio hovering around 3-plus, with both sets of top-order batsmen in the careers. . No one, in both batting line-ups, was able to really prevail over the opposition bowlers.

Asked if England’s form would hold up from the summer, McCullum said he is keen to see how it goes, though he admitted some adjustments will be made.

“We’ll find out, I guess,” he said. “One of the things we try to do is respect the conditions, but at the same time, if we are given the opportunity to try and play aggressive, attacking cricket, we will try to take that option. It’s authentic for the line-up that the guys who they’re on our team, that’s how they play their cricket and that’s what gives them the most freedom and the best chance to perform at the highest level.

“Look, we know it may not necessarily be as prominent, aggressive cricket as we’ve seen in the past, but there will be opportunities to try to play it in a positive way. And when that comes up, I hope our guys try to take that on.”

McCullum also cautioned against putting too much into Shaheen Shah Afridi’s absence for Pakistan, after the fast bowler was ruled out with a knee injury.

“Obviously it’s a big loss. I know him quite well, I also played many years in the PSL with Shaheen. He’s a wonderful bowler and has become a great leader for Pakistani cricket. It’s a big loss for sure. But a When you play Pakistan you look at their team sheet and you see talent and you see some that may not be developed talent but they are talent you have to respect that and you have to find a way that you can be well-researched and well-planned about what that it’s going to come to you, but also try to find a way to put that talent under pressure and see how it responds.

“It’s a very good Pakistan team, they’re well-rounded, they have some experience and some youth, both in batting and bowling, and they’ll be a tough challenge. We know we’ll have to play well if we’re going to be successful.”

McCullum’s previous experience in Pakistan is limited to five ODIs from 2003 in which he scored just 16 runs, with a strike rate quite different from McCullum’s of 35.55. He was able to see the funny side, 19 years later, when asked what he did for the country during his playing days: “Thanks for bringing that up, I think I’ve scored 12 runs here in my whole career. I haven’t played well here myself. , but luckily I don’t need to pick up a bat.”

However, he appreciates the importance of bringing an England Test team to this part of the world, particularly after the T20 team toured in September and October. And most of all, he hopes those in the stands and watching from home get the kind of entertainment that will help make up for the absence.

“Obviously this is a great place to tour and has been deprived of international cricket for a long period of time. We understand how passionate the people here in Pakistan are about this form of cricket and we understand the obligation we have as an England team and We are looking forward to coming here and playing an entertaining style of cricket that hopefully ends up paying off, either for us or for Pakistan.

“Hopefully everyone who scores this series, not just in Pakistan but around the world, sees that international cricket is back in Pakistan and we have a product worth watching.”

Vithushan Ehantharajah is Associate Editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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