England 'won't die wondering' under McCullum - Southee

By Sports Desk May 31, 2022

New Zealand paceman Tim Southee says England "won't die wondering" under his former team-mate Brendon McCullum.

McCullum was this month appointed as England Test head coach on a four-year deal.

It will be the ex-Black Caps captain's first international coaching role and he has been charged with the task of turning around the fortunes of a side in poor form.

England are bottom of the World Test Championship and have not won any of their past five series, a dismal run that resulted in Joe Root stepping down as captain and Ben Stokes replacing him.

New Zealand will attempt to make it a painful start to McCullum's tenure in the first Test at Lord's, which starts on Thursday, but Black Caps quick Southee thinks the 40-year-old can make a big impact.

He said: "It's exciting, obviously a great challenge for Brendon. I know him pretty well. Everything he does, he gives it a 100 per cent, so this will be no different.

"He's excited about the next wee while and what lays ahead of him. I'm sure he'll be doing everything he can to bring the best out of this England Test side. He's a great man-manager and he loves to try to get the best out of people.

"I'm sure he'll be doing that here as well. The way he played his cricket was exciting and fearless, and that's the way he is a person and I'm sure that's the way he is as a coach as well.

"It will be an exciting brand of cricket, I'm sure. They [England] won't die wondering I'd imagine if the way he goes about things is anything to go by."

New Zealand won the World Test Championship in England last year, but drew their past two series against Bangladesh and South Africa.

They have had changes of their own with Ross Taylor and BJ Watling retiring, but Southee is optimistic they can show their class in London.

He said: "It's very important, dropping a couple of Test matches in our home summer puts a little bit extra on this series. But our focus is the first five days here at Lord's, then we shift on to the second Test and the third. As a group, we try to play what's in front of us, attack it one Test at a time.

"We've been lucky that we've had a pretty consistent group of guys for a long period of time. Those two guys, BJ and Ross, have been massive parts of the side for such a long time, they're obviously big holes to fill.

"But we've got guys who have been playing some pretty good cricket and waiting in the wings for a while. Tom Blundell's had glimpses, played the last year and made some pretty handy contributions and the likes of Devon Conway and Will Young have impressed in their short international careers so far."

Related items

  • 'I wish the Ashes were next week' - Trescothick excited by England's form 'I wish the Ashes were next week' - Trescothick excited by England's form

    Marcus Trescothick says he wishes England "were going into the Ashes next week" after a run of impressive Test results.

    England's thrilling 74-run victory in the first Test against Pakistan generated huge praise for captain Ben Stokes, after his bold declaration helped to force a result on what was a flat pitch.

    England have now triumphed in seven of their past eight Test matches, a stark improvement after failing to win in their previous nine.

    The upturn in form bodes well ahead of a home Ashes series against Australia in 2023, with head coach Brendon McCullum's appointment in May of this year breathing new life into English cricket with an exciting new style.

    England batting coach Trescothick says he cannot wait for the Ashes next year, and spoke of his admiration for McCullum's tactics.

    "It is the exciting part [the Ashes]," Trescothick told reporters. "I wish we were going into the Ashes next week. If it continues on in this form then it bodes for a great series.

    "As we say we do not look too far ahead in what is going on. But it is exciting, no doubt about it, because India series and Ashes series are the pinnacle of what we do in Test cricket."

    Trescothick played for England between 2000 and 2006, and explained he would have loved to play in this expansive style McCullum has brought in.

    "Any batter would have loved this," Trescothick added. "We would have loved this environment because it is so free.

    "It is enjoyable, the methods and way we are talking about it in the changing room is exciting.

    "You want to come out here every day, walk out with them and have the opportunity to bat. It is still great watching from the balcony and seeing what they do."

  • 'Bonner caught between two minds' -Former Barbados wicketkeeper-batsman believes decisiveness will help batsman at crease 'Bonner caught between two minds' -Former Barbados wicketkeeper-batsman believes decisiveness will help batsman at crease

    Former Barbados wicketkeeper-batsman turned analyst Jamal Smith believes struggling West Indies batter Nkurmah Bonner could benefit from some decisiveness at the crease.

    The 35-year-old Bonner has earned plenty of accolades for gritty performances for the West Indies since making his debut against Bangladesh in 2021.  The player has, however, struggled vor vorm ov late, managing just 65 in his last 5 innings and has been hit twice off short pithed bowling in the last year.

    Bonner has been ruled out of the current Test series against Australia after being struck on the back of the helmet by a Cameron Green bouncer.  Despite being allowed to continue batting for another few hours Bonner is now under the team’s concussion protocol.

    In light of the latest incident, questions have been raised regarding the player susceptibility to pace bowling.

    “Short bowling is simple yet complex, you are either looking to attack the ball or defend it. I think.  In simple parlance either you are hooking or you ducking.  I think either Bonner is caught between two minds,” Smith told the Mason and Guest radio program.

    “…He takes his eyes off the ball.  We’ve seen him now being struck.  If we’re being honest, we can pinpoint some of the technical deficiencies our batters have,” he added.

    “We can’t knock Bonner because he’s done reasonably well up until this point, but you know he’s languid, he always looks little bit slow on the ball and these hard bouncy surfaces will show that up.”

    Bonner has recorded two 100s and three 50s for the West Indies in 15 matches so far.

  • French elite have tried and failed to stop Mbappe, so Fofana questions why Walker should be any different French elite have tried and failed to stop Mbappe, so Fofana questions why Walker should be any different

    France are struggling to see how Kyle Walker will stop Kylian Mbappe running rampant in Saturday's World Cup showdown with England.

    The tussle down the French left has been characterised as the key battleground ahead of the quarter-final at Al Bayt Stadium.

    Mbappe's electric pace, sublime dribbling skills and eye for goal have made him the standout player at the finals so far, and the leading scorer with five goals.

    Manchester City right-back Walker is the oldest player in the England squad, but the 32-year-old is also said to be the quickest. As such, it falls kindly for manager Gareth Southgate that Walker should naturally be the man to keep an eye on Mbappe.

    Walker said on Wednesday that stopping Mbappe will be "easier said than done", but he added: "I'm not going to roll out a red carpet for him and tell him to score."

    France defender Youssouf Fofana will reluctantly applaud Walker if he keeps Mbappe quiet.

    He pointed to French Ligue 1 clubs having previously all set out with game plans to handle the Paris Saint-Germain frontman, only to have those blown out of the water by the 23-year-old's sheer brilliance.

    "It's all to his credit if he knows how to stop Kylian, but 19 other teams in Ligue 1 are still waiting for the solution," Fofana said at a France press conference on Thursday.

    "The truth is out there, we'll see what happens. We have confidence in Kylian."

    Fofana described England and France as being "quite close in terms of culture" and said Southgate's side possessed "incredible" individuals.

    "We've seen it since the Euros, they're constantly progressing. It will be a great match," said the 23-year-old Monaco player.

    As a teenager, with his career in limbo after leaving the French national football academy at Clairefontaine, Fofana delivered pizzas for a living while trying to forage for a way forward in his preferred career.

    He needed to earn a crust, but doors soon began to open as Strasbourg gave him an opportunity, before Monaco came calling almost three years ago.

    "When you leave Clairefontaine, there are doubts," Fofana said of that time in his life. "When there are doubts you have to move forward. You need money, I had to make some. It was the best way to do that while trying to follow my dreams."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.