“The danger was probably that we were too similar”

“I think we both have such motivation to improve the team,” said McCullum.

Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum
Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England Test head coach Brendon McCullum thinks Ben Stokes’ aspirations as skipper and his vision for the team match his own “wonderfully”. The ongoing Test series against New Zealand at home is the pair’s first appearance with the team since their respective roles were appointed.

McCullum said he and Stokes are aiming to improve the side and get them up. The former New Zealand captain added that there is a filtering system in place between captain and coach to stay on top of what the team is trying to achieve and where it wants to go.

“I think where Stokesy is in his career and his aspirations as a leader and where he needs to see his team fits his personality beautifully and mine as well,” McCullum told SENZ radio. “I think we both have such motivation to try and improve the team that we give and take in the areas that we need.”

“The danger was probably that we were too alike. But I think we both have such a motivation to try and improve the side that we give and take in the areas that we need and we try to make sure we surround ourselves with leaders within the group as well, both on in the field as well as support staff who can fill in some of the gaps where we may not be as strong,” he added.

Stokes’ message was powerful, attempting to eliminate fear of failure: McCullum

When asked what message he had before the final session on the fifth day of the Test match at Trent Bridge Earlier this month he said he echoed “the feelings” of the captain.

“I don’t want to go into too much detail about what we said because it’s sacred in the dressing room,” said the England Test coach. “But I really echoed the skipper’s feelings, his message was incredibly powerful and simple, trying to eliminate the fear of failure.”

England recorded an incredible win in the second Test in Nottingham, chasing a 299 target on the final day. With 38 overs remaining in the final session, England went through 160 runs and they started the first four overs by a stroke of 59. They eventually made it through just 16 overs in the session, thanks to an incredible ton of 136 from 92 by fifth-placed Jonny Bairstow and a valuable 75 from 70 by the skipper.

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