England’s Stuart Broad tells Sky Sports about Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ effect on the Test team | Cricket News

England’s Stuart Broad tells Sky Sports about Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ effect on the Test team | Cricket News

If anything underlines the change in mindset of England’s Test team, then it is what head coach Brendon McCullum told Stuart Broad in Manchester this summer.

“I was batting at No 8 at [against South Africa at Emirates Old Trafford] and Baz comes up to me and goes, ‘I just want you to get off the mark with a six’,” Broad told Sky Sports.

“I was like, ‘what?!’ He said, ‘try and hit a six when you are on nought’. I went out with that mindset and thought, ‘okay, I will!'”

Saturday 17th December 4:30am

It didn’t quite come off for Broad, with Proteas paceman Kagiso Rabada preventing him from scoring from his first three deliveries but the six duly came next ball as Broad launched spinner Simon Harmer over long-off. It is the Bazball way, you see.

The Bazball way has now yielded eight wins in nine Tests since McCullum and captain Ben Stokes took up their respective roles in the spring. The shift in results – England had won one of their 17 Tests under the previous regime – and style has been stark.

“Baz and Stokesy came in with a completely fresh approach and it was all about enjoyment,” added Broad during his stint as a Sky Sports pundit for England’s series-clinching, 26-run victory over Pakistan in Multan.

‘Entertaining people is our victory’

“We are in an entertainment industry so let’s go out to make people watch us and have fun. Take the result out of it. There is no pressure on winning or losing. As long as we are playing in a style we enjoy and people want to watch, that’s our victory.”

They are two peas in a pod, they think very similarly. It was a masterstroke from Rob Key to put those two together. The more I am around sport, the more I realise there are some special people. Ben Stokes is one of those – probably Brendon McCullum, too. Some people are born leaders, born a bit different, and I feel Stokes is one of those cricketers.

Michael Atherton on Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum

It was at Trent Bridge in June when both Bazball – for the want of a better phrase – and Broad as England’s “Nighthawk”, as opposed to a traditional nightwatchman, truly came to be.

England required 160 from 38 overs in the final session of the second Test against New Zealand. They needed just 16 as Jonny Bairstow and Stokes went berserk after the break.

Bairstow’s onslaught took him to 136 off just 92 balls and saw him miss the record for the fastest Test ton by an Englishman by only one delivery. His 77-ball effort just behind Gilbert Jessop’s 76-ball ton in 1902, against Australia at The Oval.

Broad said: “At tea, Baz got everyone in the changing room and said he was not interested in a draw at all and that we were going for the win at all costs.

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Highlights from Jonny Bairstow’s incredible innings against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in June

“He told everyone preparing to bat that he didn’t want any thought process of shutting up shop, even telling Jimmy [Anderson] at No 11 to try and hit boundaries whatever the score.

“Everyone looked at him and went, ‘okay’. Jonny ducked the first ball, Stokesy went up and said, why are you ducking?’ Jonny then hit a six and went berserk.”

‘Get your pads on and rev up the crowd’

Earlier in the Test, during England’s first innings, Broad was due to be pushed up the order. Not to protect an established batter but to give his home crowd a lift.

He said: “Popey (Ollie Pope) and Rooty (Joe Root) had made hundreds and were batting beautifully. I went to make a coffee, in my flip flops, and Baz came up and said, ‘you are in next, get your pads on. I think the crowd has gone a bit quiet, you are a local boy so try and hit your first ball for four and get them revved up again’.

“I said, ‘surely Stokesy has a better chance of hitting his first ball for four than me?’ but Baz said, ‘Go out, try and do it, the crowd will roar and if you get out second ball, we are all good’. I sat there for an hour and then the new ball came. I was staring at him like, ‘I’m not sure about this, Baz’. He said, ‘okay, take them [the pads] off!'”

The thought processes are there, they are just not normal ones. England don’t care what we say. What matters to them is having a great time and the more fun they have showing how skilful they are and how much derring-do they have, the better the results are coming. Why would you not be enjoying it more when you are winning?

Mark Butcher on Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum’s England

The combination of McCullum’s words and Stokes’ actions appears to have transformed this England side, one which is now toasting a first overseas series win in four attempts following demoralising defeats in India in early 2021, Australia in the 2021/22 Ashes and in the West Indies in March of this year.

“I don’t think there is any fear, to be honest, which is a huge change. It is the language used in the changing room that has cleared that fear of failure up,” added Broad, who is missing the ongoing Pakistan series due to the birth of his child.

“I bowled at Stokesy at Lord’s [before the first Test against New Zealand] and he tried to hit every ball for four or six in the nets. At the end he tapped me on the glove and said, ‘I had to do that to show everyone this is what I mean’.

“It was over the top in the nets but his mindset is that he has to show the way forward by being super aggressive, which we saw in the summer in games when he got caught at long-off. He showed the changing room, ‘this is what I want you all to do’. That is a better way of him leading than just to say it.”

The end of Covid quarantine helped. It was quite an oppressive situation and hard to express yourself on a cricket field when you are not even seeing your team-mates outside of cricket.

Stuart Broad on England’s Test turnaround

It’s a leadership style that England’s players are loving – fast bowler Mark Wood has said he would “run through a brick wall” for Stokes – and one which has completely revived the Test team from the rock-bottom position they were in after the Ashes.

That series ended in a 4-0 trouncing but the next battle for the urn, in England in June and July of 2023, promises to be a lot more competitive, thanks to Stokes and McCullum.

Watch England aim to complete a series sweep of Pakistan on Sky Sports Cricket. The third and final Test, in Karachi, is live from Saturday (4.30am on air ahead of a 5am start).

Curated from: https://www.skysports.com/cricket/news/12040/12766958/englands-stuart-broad-tells-sky-sports-about-brendon-mccullum-and-ben-stokes-effect-on-the-test-team
TAGS: #Englands #Stuart #Broad #tells #Sky #Sports #Brendon #McCullum #Ben #Stokes #effect #Test #team #Cricket #News


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