'The danger probably was that we'd be too similar' - Brendon McCullum on working with Ben Stokes

‘The danger probably was that we’d be too similar’ – Brendon McCullum on working with Ben Stokes

"I think both of us have got such motivation to try and improve the side," said McCullum.

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

England Test head coach Brendon McCullum feels that Ben Stokes’ aspirations as a skipper and vision with the team “aligns beautifully” with his own. The ongoing Test series against New Zealand at home is the pair’s first assignment with the team since the appointment of their respective roles.

McCullum said that he and Stokes aim to improve the side and take them to heights. The former New Zealand captain added that having a filtering system between the captain and coach to remain on task with what the team is trying to achieve and the direction they want to go towards.

“I think where Stokesy’s at in his career, and his aspirations as a leader and where he sees his team needs to go, it aligns beautifully to his personality and also to mine,” McCullum SENZ Radio. “I think both of us have got such motivation to try and improve the side that we give and take in the areas we need to.”

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

Stokes’ messaging has been powerful, trying to remove the fear of failure: McCullum

When asked about what message he conveyed before the final session on the fifth day of the Test match at Trent Bridge earlier in the month, he said that he was “echoing the sentiments” of the captain.

“I don’t want to go too much into kind of what we what we said because it’s sacred in the dressing room,” said the Test coach of England. “But I was echoing the sentiments of the skipper really, his messaging has been incredibly powerful and simple, trying to remove the fear of failure.”

England registered an incredible win in Nottingham in the second Test, chasing a target of 299 on the final day. With 38 overs left in the final session, England needed 160 runs and they began the first four overs by smashing 59. They eventually pulled off the chase consuming only 16 overs in the session, thanks to a blistering ton of 136 off 92 balls by Jonny Bairstow at number five and a valuable 75 off 70 balls by the skipper.