HomeSports NewsEngland turn to Kiwi great McCullum to revive Test fortunes

England turn to Kiwi great McCullum to revive Test fortunes

Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was named the coach of England s Test side on Thursday, with a brief to shake the team out of its deep malaise.

McCullum will leave his job in charge of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders to take charge of a red-ball side that has fallen to bottom place in the World Test Championship after a dire run of one win in 17 matches.

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Leading the revival is a sizeable task for the 40-year-old, who has never coached at first-class or Test level, but is renowned as one of the sport s most progressive thinkers and dynamic leaders.

As New Zealand skipper he set the side on the path to their current golden era — last year they won the inaugural World Test Championship and they have reached the finals of the past two 50-over World Cups.

McCullum, who will team up with new captain Ben Stokes, saw off a strong field to earn a four-year deal, edging out candidates including former South Africa and India coach Gary Kirsten.

The hard-hitting batsman, who won 101 Test caps before retiring from international cricket in 2016, was adamant he could bolster the fortunes of an England team still reeling from a 4-0 Ashes hammering in Australia and a recent 1-0 defeat in the Caribbean.

“In taking this role on, I am acutely aware of the significant challenges the team faces at present, and I strongly believe in my ability to help the team emerge as a stronger force once we ve confronted them head-on,” he said.

“I ve enjoyed several robust conversations with Rob Key (England director of cricket) about the direction of travel for the team and have found his enthusiasm contagious.

“I m no stranger to bringing about change within a team environment and I can t wait to get started.

“Ben Stokes is the perfect character to inspire change around him, and I look forward to working closely with him to build a successful unit around us.”

Key added he was looking forward to seeing the New Zealander work with Stokes, who replaced long-serving skipper Joe Root last month.

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