Create

"I never thought it would work like this" - Robert Key thrilled by England's performance under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes have made remarkable progress with England's Test team. (Credits: Getty)
Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes have made remarkable progress with England's Test team. (Credits: Getty)

England Cricket Managing Director Robert Key acknowledged the progress made by Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum with the Test team. Key admitted that he never thought it would work to this extent and is excited for them to take it further.

Since Stokes and McCullum became England's Test captain and coach respectively, they have won all four Tests. The duo have inspired England to four victories in as many Tests, chasing totals of over 250 in each of those. They have also played fearlessly, which was otherwise missing in the previous regime.

The dream start for Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum as England beat New Zealand 3-0 #ENGvsNZ talksport.com/sport/cricket/…

Speaking to the BBC Test Match Special, Key said the pair's unexpected progress has been magnificent. The former middle-order batter also said the term "Bazball" discredits England's progress and opined that it's attributed to a change in the players' mindset.

He said:

"I never thought it would work like this. There will be times when it won't work, but for now it's been fantastic to see. I'm not mad on Bazball the phrase. It's not something I particularly enjoy because it devalues what Ben and Brendon have done.
"They've been so premediated almost and methodical in the way they've spoken to people and that's what's made the difference and let them get to this point which is so much more than, 'oh, we're just going to go out there and look to be positive and play a few shots'."

Of the four run-chases, the Englishmen also completed their highest run-chase ever in Test cricket. Stokes' men chased down 378 against India in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston in the fourth innings to draw the five-match rubber 2-2.


"I felt they needed someone to just take the pressure off them a little bit" - Robert Key on choosing Brendon McCullum as coach

Robert Key. (Image Credits: Getty)
Robert Key. (Image Credits: Getty)

The 43-year old stated that he wanted a candidate to inspire the Test team to play freely before choosing McCullum as coach instead of someone who will be tough on them.

Key added:

"I saw it as though I had two choices. Did the England team, the Test team in particular, need someone who was going to be like a drill sergeant, a real hard taskmaster who's going to be really tough on them and try and drive them in that way? I felt they needed someone to just take the pressure off them a little bit."
BREAKING: Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has been appointed as England’s new Test head coach 🏏Details 👇bit.ly/3sxtwkN

England's next Test assignment is against South Africa at home in a three-Test series, beginning August 17.

Quick Links

Edited by Puranjay Dixit
Be the first one to comment