Brendon McCullum is delighted to see Ben Stokes “writing his own scripts” as England captain as the pair continue to push the boundaries in Test cricket.
McCullum has been a huge hit since taking over England’s red ball side last summer, leading nine wins from ten games and ushering in a new era of fearless play.
As a proud Kiwi and much-loved former Black Caps captain, this month’s New Zealand tour puts him firmly in the spotlight, but he’s more than happy to give Stokes a helping hand.
“With the skipper in charge, I’m not sure what’s possible for this side because he’s a guy who writes his own scripts and accomplishes some pretty special things,” he said.
“I know the plans he has for this team are quite lofty and he will try to do what he can to get the guys along for the ride.
“It has been a good start. The results are great, but it’s not so much about results. I know we’re judged by it, but that’s not really my focus, and neither is the skipper.
“We just want the lads to play a style of cricket that gives them the greatest opportunity to express their talent and have fun with it.
“This year has been pretty awesome. We know there are some big challenges ahead of us as well, but no matter what, we’ve accomplished some pretty cool things recently and if we can continue the lessons we’ve learned from the last 10 or 11 months, we’ll it gives us an opportunity to do something very special in the next short time.”
Playing the role of tour guide during the early days of the journey, McCullum lay at a team bonding camp on one of his old stomping grounds to further bring together a team that increasingly believes it can take on the world.
The fact that he is also conspiring to beat his compatriots is not lost on the 41-year-old, but he hopes local fans will welcome the kind of cricket he brings to their shores, even if it comes from behind enemy lines.
“They will be entertained whether New Zealand wins or we win,” he promised.
“People are patriotic and want their own team to win, but this is one of the reasons we’re in this job – we want to make Test Cricket entertaining and make sure people leave with a great experience of the game.
“Even if your team doesn’t win, you can still walk away thinking you had a great day out. Hopefully that will be the case throughout this series.”