England’s new Test coach Brendon McCullum has vowed to pick his best team for each occasion, rather than rotate his players, as he prepares to face his homeland New Zealand on Thursday (1st Test betting – England 13/10, Draw 13/5, New Zealand 8/5).
McCullum was appointed as Chris Silverwood’s successor earlier this month following a winter of discontent in which England endured a dismal Ashes series in Australia, while they also lost their tour of the West Indies.
There’s been a significant overhaul within the set-up, with Rob Key appointed as the new managing director and Ben Stokes replacing Joe Root as captain.
Kiwi McCullum has vowed to “confront” his team’s shortcomings “head-on” and has admitted he has “significant challenges” to overcome.
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His first assignment comes on Thursday when England face his native New Zealand at Lord’s and the 40-year-old has revealed his plan to always pick the best players available.
England were guilty of rotating heavily last year, partly due to the impact of dealing with the demands of Covid-19. However, McCullum has vowed to put an end to regularly making premediated changes to the XI.
McCullum told BBC Sport: “I’ll probably get in trouble, but I like to pick the best team every time.
“My job will be to plan as if you’ll live forever, but live as if you’ll die tomorrow.”
Veteran duo of the pictured James Anderson (13/8 England Top Wicket Taker – 1st Test) and Stuart Broad (9/4) have been recalled for the upcoming series, having been omitted for the loss to West Indies in March.
The pace pair boast an incredible 1,117 wickets between them but have only played together in 10 of England’s past 26 Tests.
McCullum, though, claims he would have no issue in deploying the duo in the same side.
He added: “Why not? They can work together. They have had successful careers together.
“There might have been times when the combination might not have been as good as everyone hoped, but there are circumstances around that – there might not have been enough runs, or they were bowling in benign conditions. I’m certainly not against picking them together.”
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