On Thursday, McCullum, the former New Zealand captain who has worked majorly as a white-ball coach in T20 franchise cricket, was handed the job of England's Test coach. His first assignment will be England's three-match home Test against New Zealand, the current World Test Championship (WTC) winners, in June.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain has urged Joe Root and Co. to adopt a “we’ll show them” attitude ahead of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide. He has also called upon Root, all-rounder Ben Stokes and coach Chris Silverwood to remove negativity from the dressing room.
England is 1-0 down and needs to win the day-night Test in Adelaide to make a comeback in the five-match series.
“The most important thing is England’s mindset. The moment there is any suggestion in the dressing room of ‘here we go again’ Joe Root, Chris Silverwood and Ben Stokes will have to make sure that negativity is stamped out. So, they have to adopt an attitude of ‘we’ll show them’. They have to believe they can turn this Ashes series around,” wrote Hussain in his column for Daily Mail on Monday.
Hussain pointed out that England had to score big in the first innings, something which didn’t happen in Brisbane.
“All the talk now is about the bowling and whether Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad should play in Adelaide, but the issue is England’s batting. Joe Root is the only batter averaging over 40 this year – most are not averaging 30 – and other than the captain’s six centuries the only other batter to reach three figures in 2021 is Rory Burns. They have to get big runs in their first innings.
“If England can do that in the second Test, they will be ahead of the game rather than playing catch-up. It’s all very well David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne charging Jack Leach and smashing him out of the ground when Australia are 100 for one chasing 147 but it would have been a bit harder had they been chasing 500.”
Hussain felt that either James Anderson or Stuart Broad could come in for Adelaide Test after being absent from The Gabba Test.
“They should turn up in Adelaide and play the best side for the conditions that greet them there. But there must be a chat with the sports science people and Anderson and Broad themselves because the bowlers who are best suited for this game are probably the ones who have just played. They have overs in their legs now. Having said that I would bring in one of those two big guns depending on who is in the best shape physically after such a long break without playing.”
The 53-year-old said England may retain left-arm spinner, Jack Leach, instead of making knee-jerk decisions based on what happened at The Gabba.
“Everybody talks about the pink ball, lights and swing in Adelaide but it can spin there too. It can be hot and flat and large parts of the game will not be played under lights and with a new swinging ball. So if England thinks they need a spinner they should pick Leach or Dom Bess rather than panic and react to what happened at the Gabba.”