London: The England mens Test team is far from being a “finished product”, their new head coach Brendon McCullum has stated, and added that his aim is to make winning in the longest format in all conditions a habit.
Under McCullum, England have orchestrated three-in-three Test victories against New Zealand and effected the highest run-chase in their history by defeating India in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston recently.
But McCullum says it’s only been a month that his side has started giving results and more needs to be done to make it an all-conquering unit in all conditions.
“We’re not a finished product first and foremost,” McCullum said. “We’re a month into it and we’ve had some great results and we’ve seen the cricketing world put them on notice a little bit, but we need to ensure that this becomes a norm for us,” added the New Zealander, who arrived in England from India where he was head coach of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.
The 40-year-old believes extending their form to overseas conditions will be the biggest challenge for the world No.4 ranked side led by Ben Stokes.
“That this style of play and what we’re trying to achieve is completely authentic to us in any given situation and that will be the real challenge. Obviously conditions around the world will mean that we’ll have to be relatively adaptable as well but look, I think that’s one of the beauties of this group,” McCullum added.
“I think there were times throughout the two series (vs New Zealand and India) that we’ve played where we’ve had to absorb pressure as well. Much has been made of the destruction that we were able to operate with the ball in hand particularly and our hunt for wickets with the ball, but there’s times where we had to absorb pressure. When that was needed, the guys really did it, which was really satisfying too. It’s early days but it’s certainly a nice changing room to be around; a wonderful group of guys and clearly an immense amount of talent and ability within the dressing room and really well led by the skipper in Ben Stokes too.”
England will be looking forward to the upcoming home series against South Africa, set to begin on August 17.