The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), on Thursday, confirmed the appointment of New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum as the new head coach of the Test side. McCullum has signed a four-year contract with the ECB. His first assignment shall be the upcoming three-match Test series against World Test Championship (WTC) winners New Zealand next month.
The former Black Caps captain, who will quit his role as Kolkata Knight Riders’ head coach at the end of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, has never before taken charge of a red-ball team in his coaching career. Apart from KKR, the 40-year-old has previously coached the likes of Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Reacting to McCullum’s appointment, former England skipper Michael Vaughan has questioned why Gary Kirsten was overlooked to coach England’s Test team favouring the New Zealander, describing that it might be risky. Vaughan termed the appointment of McCullum as ‘bizarre’, mentioning that Kirsten was a better choice as the latter possesses lots of experience.
“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. He is the perfect mentor, thinker, and cultural 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,” Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph.
The 2005-06 Ashes-winning captain said that he supports playing an aggressive brand of cricket, but at the moment, England needed to stabilise the team first, and McCullum was better suited for white-ball cricket.
“I am all for attacking play and being aggressive, but I don’t think this England Test team is in a position to play that way at the moment. They have to take small steps first and get used to playing long, hard periods of Test cricket. And then in time, if you get a group of players with a lot of confidence, they can play more flamboyantly,” added Vaughan.