'It was like William Wallace!' – England wicketkeeper Foakes hails McCullum's Trent Bridge team talk

By Sports Desk June 20, 2022

A motivational team talk from Brendon McCullum inspired England to their thrilling chase at Trent Bridge against New Zealand, with Ben Foakes likening the message to a battle cry.

England managed a fourth-innings chase of 279 in the opening Test against the Black Caps at Lord's, with Joe Root posting a majestic unbeaten 115 to guide his team to victory.

More heroics were to follow in Nottingham when England had to chase 299 on day five.

Jonny Bairstow smashed England's second-fastest Test century as Ben Stokes' side plundered in the last session to secure an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

McCullum's coaching methods, which are said to focus on mentality as opposed to technique during the match, have been praised, and Foakes credited his coach's team talk before the final session.

"Baz's team talk at tea – it was like William Wallace!" Foakes said to ESPNcricinfo, referencing the famous Scot who battled in the First War of Scottish Independence and was depicted in the film 'Braveheart'.

"After he was done, everyone was desperate to get out there.

"The traditional Test approach in that situation would be 'see how it goes, see how many wickets we've got left, then if the situation isn't there, do we shut up shop?'

"He was like, 'Nah, we're not doing that. We're winning this game. If we don't, so be it – we've done it the right way. It doesn't matter if we don't win this game.' And it took the pressure off."

Foakes has taken the gloves for England, with new captain Stokes repeatedly expressing his support for who he feels is the best wicket-keeper in the world, and the Surrey star has subsequently delivered.

He has also experienced an upturn in his batting, scoring an unbeaten fourth-innings 32 alongside Root at Lord's before managing 56 and 12 not out at Trent Bridge to see England over the line.

England will look to complete the series sweep against New Zealand at Headingley starting on Thursday, and Foakes says the leadership of Stokes and McCullum has reinvigorated his enjoyment of cricket.

"It has changed the way I look at Test cricket," Foakes added. "With playing for England, there are obviously a lot of pressures, a lot of criticisms and things like that.

"If you think about that too much, it weighs on you. But over the last two weeks, it's clear to see the positives and how amazing playing for England can be.

"Baz and Stokesy, the way they are, promote that. When I think about it, my approach to Test cricket has always just been about endurance, mentally slow for a reason, and meant to be calculated.

"When you play for England, there is another side to it – the entertainment factor. I guess it's similar to the game a year ago [at Lord's, where England declined to chase 273 in 75 overs]: we could have gone for the win, but didn't.

"For pure entertainment value, within the crowd and at home, even if you lose that game at Trent Bridge, you're probably doing more for Test cricket.

"There's a balance in the game and trying to improve the viewership of it as well."

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    Nicholas Pooran believes everything went right for him as West Indies got a record-breaking win over Afghanistan to end the T20 World Cup group stage.

    West Indies won by 104 runs in St Lucia on Monday as they hit the highest run total at the tournament so far this year, hitting 218, including registering the highest powerplay score in history with 92.

    Pooran alone got 98 of those runs off 53 balls, the highest individual total at this World Cup, and broke the record for the most sixes in T20Is for West Indies, with his eight in this game taking him to 128, going past Chris Gayle's 124.

    Asked how he felt following his impressive performance, Pooran was quick to turn the praise to the whole team.

    "I felt today was my day and I had to take the responsibility," Pooran said. "When it's your day, you have to make it your day. I assessed the conditions early. It was really important for us to not lose wickets in the middle.

    "We have been really consistent as a team. The way we have played is wonderful.

    "It's just not today, it started 12-14 months ago. We have been consistent as a team; we went to No. 3 in the rankings. In the last game, [Sherfane] Rutherford took the opportunity and played wonderfully. He inspired us."

    Captain Rovman Powell hit 26 when he was introduced but had already witnessed history being made in the fourth over – West Indies scored 36 runs, equalling the record for the most expansive over in men’s T20Is.

    Powell was pleased with the performances on both sides but singled out the hard work Pooran has done in order to get this result.

    "I think it is on the back of hard work," Powell said. "He has had a very good 12 months. Good to see him score runs not only in franchise cricket but also for West Indies.

    "The guys were excited to come here. We knew here would be one of the better wickets of the competition. After Guyana and Trinidad, the batters wanted to come here and get runs."

    West Indies face reigning champions England next in the Super 8s on Wednesday.

  • Pooran impresses in statement West Indies win over Afghanistan Pooran impresses in statement West Indies win over Afghanistan

    Nicholas Pooran starred as West Indies got a statement win in their final T20 World Cup group game, beating Afghanistan by 104 runs in St Lucia on Monday.

    Both sides had already qualified for the Super 8s, but West Indies ensured they finished unbeaten in Group C, breaking a few records along the way.

    Afghanistan had no answers to the co-hosts' dominant batting performance, with Johnson Charles getting 43 off 27 balls before Pooran plundered 98 off 53 balls, including six fours and eight sixes.

    He was run out in the final over while searching for his century, but Shai Hope (25) and Rovman Powell (26) had already helped push West Insides towards the highest total of the tournament so far with 218-5.

    West Indies did not let up during the Afghanistan chase, starting strongly when Akeal Hosein had Rashid Khan caught for a duck in a wicket maiden to start.

    Obed McCoy was the standout though, as he took 3-14, including Ibrahim Zadran, who was starting to build some momentum with his 38, leaving Afghanistan all out for 114 with 22 balls remaining.

    West Indies meet holders England in their first Super 8 match on Wednesday, while Afghanistan face India the following day.

    Data Debrief: West Indies finish group in record-breaking style

    West Indies' score of 218 was their highest-ever at the T20 World Cup, while they also registered the highest powerplay score with 92, beating the Netherlands' record of 91 against Ireland in 2014.

    In the fourth over alone, they scored 36 runs - equalling the record for the most expansive over in men's T20s.

    Pooran has scored the joint-most sixes in the tournament so far (13, along with USA's Aaron Jones), and has broken the record for the most sixes (128) in T20s for West Indies, going past Chris Gayle's 124.

    His total of 98 was also the highest individual total at this World Cup, carrying him past 2000 runs in T20Is.

    All in all, not a bad day for the West Indies.

  • All the records broken in Windies' breathtaking performance against Afghanistan All the records broken in Windies' breathtaking performance against Afghanistan

    In a thrilling display of cricket prowess, West Indies shattered records at all angles, and left fans in awe with a phenomenal 104-run win over Afghanistan in their final Group C contest of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Darren Sammy Stadium, in St Lucia, on Monday.

    Here is a look at all the records that were broken during the breathtaking performance.

    Highest total of 2024 T20 World Cup

    West Indies total of 218-5 was the highest total by any team at this edition of the Men's T20 World Cup, surpassing the 201-6 that Sri Lanka managed against the Netherlands, at the same venue, and Australia's 201-7 against England in Barbados.

    Team

    Score

    West Indies

    218-5 v Afghanistan

    Sri Lanka

    201-6 v Netherlands

    Australia

    201-7 v England

    USA

    197-3 v Canada

    Canada

    194-5 v USA

    Highest individual innings of 2024 T20 World Cup

    Nicholas Pooran's outstanding innings of 98 was the highest score by any player at this T20 World Cup, eclipsing the unbeaten 94 USA's Aaron Jones put together against Canada in Dallas.

    Player

    Score

    Nicholas Pooran

    98 v Afghanistan

    Aaron Jones

    94* v Canada

    Rahmanullah Gurbaz

    80 v New Zealand

    Rahmanullah Gurbaz

    76 v Uganda

    Ibrahim Zadran

    70 v Uganda

    Highest Powerplay in Men's T20 World Cup history

    West Indies scored 92 runs during the Powerplay, beating the previous best of 91 by the Netherlands against Ireland at the 2014 edition of the tournament.

    Team

    Score

    West Indies

    92 v Afghanistan (2024)

    Netherlands

    91 v Ireland (2014)

    England

    89 v South Africa (2016)

    South Africa

    83 v England (2016)

    India

    82 v Scotland (2021)

    Highest total for West Indies in Men's T20 World Cups

    The score of 218-5 by the West Indies was the best they have managed at any edition of the T20 World Cup, going past the 205-6 against South Arica in Johannesburg in 2007.

    Opposition

    Score

    Afghanistan

    218-5 (2024)

    South Africa

    205-6 (2007

    Australia

    205-4 (2012)

    India

    196-3 (2016)

    Australia

    191-8 (2012)

    Equal most runs conceded in one over in Men's T20 World Cup history

    An unwanted record for Afghanistan seamer Azmatullah Omarzai, who conceded a total of 36 in one over during the Powerplay. Pooran smashed three sixes and a pair of fours during Omarzai's second over, with some wayward bowling meaning Yuvraj Singh's long-standing record for most runs in one over at a Men's T20 World Cup was equaled.

    Pooran overtook Chris Gayle for most sixes by West Indies player in Men's T20I history

    Pooran hit eight sixes against Afghanistan, taking his tally to 128 in T20I cricket and past West Indies great Chris Gayle's total of 124.

    Player

    Sixes

    Nicholas Pooran

    128

    Chris Gayle

    124

    Evin Lewis

    111

    Kieron Pollard

    99

    Rovman Powell

    90

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