Cricket: Cricket-England have sounded ‘alarm bells’ with New Zealand whitewash – McCullum

(Reuters) – England coach Brendon McCullum said his side’s aggressive performances in their 3-0 series win over New Zealand set the alarm bells ringing around world cricket and that there would be no change of approach against India in their rearranged test.

England, who had been mired in a run of one win in 17 tests, brought in McCullum as coach and named Ben Stokes as their new captain in May and the duo have made an immediate impact with a more swashbuckling style of play.

After brushing aside reigning world test champions New Zealand, England take on India at Edgbaston from Friday in a rearranged test from last year’s series.

“The world test champions were a formidable opponent and the alarm bells have probably gone off somewhat around world cricket as to how this team is going to play,” McCullum told British media.

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

Former New Zealand captain McCullum said Stokes had been “fabulous” since succeeding Joe Root as skipper.

“It’s early days, but he has exceeded my expectations already. I’m aggressive but he’s got me covered, which is saying something,” McCullum said.

“When we’re fielding and he’s captaining, he’s constantly making plays, which I think is great because it means at least we’re in control regardless of what the scoreboard says.

“Then, when he’s batting, he’s pushing the envelope as well, which is sending a message to not just our dressing room but to other dressing rooms that this is how we’re going to play.

“He’s been fabulous so far.”

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)



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