My England may be the nation to save Test cricket

Brendon McCullum believes England can reverse the “downward trend” in red ball cricket around the world.

The former New Zealand captain has been appointed head coach of the England Test squad in a bid to improve his fortunes, with just one win in his last 17 games.

“I think for me red ball cricket has always been the pinnacle of the sport, if you look at where the game is currently it’s probably trending down and for me the nation that can really change that is England”. McCullum told Sky Sports.

“Because of the tradition of Test cricket here in England and I guess the fans follow it and the support it gets in this country.

“For us to be competitive in Test cricket, I think it will help a lot to try to be able to change that a little bit in terms of the perception of red ball cricket moving forward.

McCullum also praised new Test captain Ben Stokes as a “really strong leader” and admitted he won’t be a hands-on technical coach.

“I certainly don’t train technically. Obviously I understand technique, but for me it’s more about tactics and man management and trying to provide the right environment for the team to try to go out there and be the best versions of themselves.” the 40-year-old man said.

“So I think with Stokesy as captain we have a really strong leader, a ‘follow me’ type of captain and I think my job will be to try to ensure that we are consistent with a lot of our messaging.

“I’m also going to take care of the guys within the environment and try to really allow them to grow at a speed that they may not have reached before, so it’s a big challenge.”

McCullum admits it was a “huge risk” for everyone involved to give him the job, but he believes in his own abilities despite his limited coaching experience.

“I am confident in the skills that I have and I am confident in the group that we have to start things as well,” he said.

“Obviously it may take a bit of time to fully adjust to the methods and forms here and it may take some time for the guys to adjust to me as well, but I’m looking forward to it.

“For me it was a big risk taken by everyone, but, for me, you don’t get anywhere unless you take a risk.”

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