Brendon McCullum should be in sync with England's new Test captain Ben Stokes for the team to get best results, feels Andrew Strauss. Image Credit: AFP file

London: The ripples over the appointment of Brendon McCullum, former New Zealand captain and IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders coach as England’s Test team continues a few days back, still continues.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) strategic advisor Andrew Strauss feels ‘Baz’ and their new skipper Ben Stokes has to be on the same page, while former skipper Michael Vaughan feels Gary Kirsten would have been a much better choice.

“The most important thing of all is the connection and alignment between him (McCullum) and Ben Stokes, the captain,” Strauss was quoted as saying by ICC. “Them forging a strong, productive relationship is going to be crucial,” he added.


Added to that will be the fact that McCullum, the former New Zealand skipper, would also want to implement his blueprint, which is an “aggressive and positive” mindset. That’s the same sentiment he had echoed when he captained New Zealand’s Test team between 2012 and 2016.

“It sounds corny, but we talk about the little boy who fell in love with the game: when you have that mindset you can be positive and aggressive, because you’re thinking about what can go right, rather than what might go wrong,” McCullum had said during his captaincy tenure.

“We wanted to be known as a team that no matter what situation we were in, we were going to make it bloody tough for the opposition to beat us. They might beat us, and if they outplay us that’s fine, but we’re going to make it hard.”

McCullum will quit his job with KKR at the end of the IPL 2022 season to join the Ben Stokes-led side for their upcoming three-Test series against New Zealand, starting on June 2 at Lord’s.

Vaughan, meanwhile, termed McCullum’s appointment as a “big risk”, with him saying in his column for the Telegraph that, while the New Zealander is “the perfect mentor, thinker and culture driver”, his lack of experience could come in the way.

Big risk: Vaughan 

“He (McCullum) is the perfect mentor, thinker and culture driver who has done it before and has the t-shirt. What England have gone for in Brendon is exciting and a big name, but it is a big risk as well. He is taking over England at the right time. They are at their lowest ebb since the mid-1990s.

“He will not have to do much for us all to see a massive improvement but if it doesn’t happen quickly then there will be questions asked about his appointment and whether England would have been better off with a safer pair of hands, more experienced and know how to coach in Test cricket. But one thing is for sure, we are in for an interesting ride,” opined Vaughan.

Vaughan added that former SA opener, Kirsten, would have been a “safer pair of hands”. “England’s bold appointment of Brendon McCullum makes me nervous. If English cricket has overlooked someone like Gary Kirsten for a second time I do find it incredibly bizarre. I don’t see how we have made that call twice.”