‘Alarm bells have gone off in world cricket,’: McCullum on England’s aggression | Cricket

During the 3-0 series sweep against New Zealand, England showed a glimpse of their new approach to Test cricket, especially with the bat. He easily chased more than 250 goals in the fourth innings in all three games, and the second and third particularly showed some sensational big shots led by Johnny Bierstowe. This is something that many expected when Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes were appointed head coach and captain of the team but former players have now said they will push their attack even further.

Engaging in a winning run in 17 Tests, England brought McCullum as coach and in May appointed Ben Stokes as their new captain and the pair made an immediate impact with a more swashbuckling style.

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England will face Edgbaston on Friday in a rematch from last year’s series after the World Test champions New Zealand.

“World Test champions have been a formidable opponent and the warning hours on how this team will play have probably gone a bit over world cricket,” McCullum told the British press.

“Let’s enjoy this moment and see what happens in the next little while. It’s exciting … I think we (take this approach) a lot because we know exactly where that line is. Until you do that, you’re not really sure.”

Bairstow scored 394 runs in six innings at a sensational strike rate of 120.12. Former captain Joe Root, meanwhile, continued his own rich vein and scored his fastest century in the first Test. Captain Ben Stokes, meanwhile, scored 194 runs in his five innings at a strike rate of 82.55, especially as part of a 179-run partnership with Bierstowe, who came up with just 121 balls in England’s second innings of the second Test.

“It’s early days, but he’s already exceeded my expectations. I’m aggressive but he’s covered me. That’s saying something. When we’re fielding and he’s in the lead, he plays constantly, I think it’s great because we’re in control of what the scoreboard says,” Stokes’ McCullum said.

“Then, when they are batting, they also push the envelope, which sends a message that we are going to play this way not only for our dressing room but also for other dressing rooms.


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