Brendon McCullum insists he will pick his best England Test side at every opportunity with no interest in rest and rotation, while he suggested James Anderson and Stuart Broad can still work in tandem.

Anderson and Broad were surprise omissions for the tour of the West Indies in March, which ended in a 1-0 series defeat for Joe Root before he stepped down as England Test captain.

Ben Stokes was appointed as the successor to Root, who oversaw just one win in his last 17 Tests, while McCullum was named as red-ball coach, beating Gary Kirsten to the position.

McCullum's first task sees him face his home country New Zealand, starting at Lord's next Thursday, and he hinted Anderson and Broad – who have 1,117 Test wickets between them – could feature together.

"Why not? They can work together," he said to BBC Sport of the veteran bowling pair. "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.

"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."

McCullum also sees similarities between himself and new captain Stokes, with the pair both known for their attacking batting displays in five-day cricket.

"He's going to be a wonderful leader," said McCullum. "He plays the game how I like it to be played and puts bums on seats.

"He might fly. He might grab the captaincy and go to a whole new level again. We'll just play what we see and feel in that moment – and I'm sure the relationship between Stokesy and I will really flourish."

There remain concerns over McCullum's experience, given he has only ever coached white-ball franchises Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinbago Knight Riders.

However, he played 101 Tests for his country and believes he will coach differently to the aggressive batting style he opted for as a player.

"I'm very different as a coach to how I was as a player," he added.

"I like to allow guys to get to where they need to, to realise their potential rather than play how I played. I'd never want anyone to do that – that comes with an immense amount of disappointment at times. It's not for everyone, that style.

"Your job as coach is to understand everyone's game, understand them as people, get to know them and understand their aspirations. You try to piece that all together for one common goal."

Brendon McCullum concedes England took "a big risk" by appointing him as men's Test coach, but hopes his side can reinvigorate interest in red-ball cricket across the world.

England's new men's managing director Rob Key chose New Zealand great McCullum ahead of the likes of Gary Kirsten and interim coach Paul Collingwood.

McCullum will be tasked with transforming England's fortunes in five-day cricket after just one win in 17 Tests led to the resignation of captain Joe Root, with Ben Stokes his replacement.

However, McCullum's experience comes from white-ball cricket, where he has only ever coached T20 franchises; Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders and their Caribbean Premier League affiliate Trinbago Knight Riders.

While McCullum acknowledged a seeming lack of experience, the 40-year-old remains confident he can make a noticeable impact for England and cricket on a wider scale.

"I think for me red-ball cricket has always been the pinnacle of the sport, if you look at where the game sits currently, it's probably on a bit of a downward trend and to me the nation that can really change that is England," McCullum told Sky Sports.

"Because of the tradition of Test cricket here in England and I guess the fan following and the support that it gets in this country.

"For us to be competitive in Test cricket I think will go a long way in trying to be able to hopefully just shift that a little bit in terms of the perception of red-ball cricket moving forward.

"I'm confident in the skills that I've got and I'm confident in the group that we have to start things off as well.

“Obviously it might take a little while to become completely adjusted to the methods and the ways over here and it might take some time for guys to become adjusted to me as well, but I'm looking forward to it.

"For me it was a big risk taken by everyone but, for me, you don't get anywhere unless you take risks."

McCullum admitted he will be far from a hands-on coach with the mental aspects of cricket more of interest to him than technique, while he hailed Stokes' leadership.

"I certainly don't coach technically. I understand the technique obviously, but for me it's more around tactics and man-management and trying to provide the right environment for the team to try and go out there and be the best versions of themselves," he added.

"So I think with Stokesy as captain we've got a really strong leader, a 'follow me' type of captain and so I think my job will be to try and ensure that we’re consistent with a lot of our messaging.

"I'll look after the guys inside the environment as well and try and allow them to really grow at a speed which they might not have got to previously, so it's a big challenge."

McCullum faces home country New Zealand in his first Test in charge of England, which starts next Thursday at Lord's.

England fast bowler Mark Wood has conceded he may not be able to play Test cricket until the end of the English summer as he makes "slow progress" in recovering from elbow surgery.

Wood bowled 17 overs before suffering an issue with his right elbow in the first Test of a three-match series against West Indies, which ended in a 1-0 defeat for England in March.

The 32-year-old was forced to pull out of the ongoing Indian Premier League, where he was due to play for new franchise Lucknow Super Giants, and underwent an operation on his elbow.

Durham quick Wood hopes to use spells in Eoin Morgan's ODI team to regain fitness, with the three-match Test series against New Zealand that starts on June 2 at Lord's proving a step too soon.

England then face India in the rescheduled fifth Test in July, and Wood may target the visit of South Africa for three Tests in August and September as a potential return.

"Every time I bowl there's still a bit of swelling," said Wood, who was speaking at an event for England Test sponsors LV= Insurance.

"I'm hoping I can get off my full run in the next couple of weeks then play for Durham after that. 

"At the minute it's a little bit slow going. The back-end of the summer is where I'll be looking at for Test matches, nothing early doors.

"If I can build up through one-day cricket first, that would make it easier for me to come back into Test matches."

 

Wood is one of seven pace bowlers sidelined for England's first Test against New Zealand, with Olly Stone, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Fisher all out of action due to injury.

Ollie Robinson was also not considered for Brendon McCullum's new England Test squad due to fitness issues, which opened the door for a maiden call-up for Durham's Matty Potts.

Potts is the leading wicket-taker in the County Championship this season with 35, claiming 7-40 in a win over Glamorgan last time out, and Wood knows firsthand the qualities of his Durham team-mate.

"He's a proper bowler," said Wood. "He's got something about him and finds ways to get wickets. He's a big, strong lad, built like a tank.

"He never seems to drop off. He's really fit, constantly running in and making things happen. When you think nothing is happening, he gets a wicket. That's a great knack to have."

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have recalled for England’s Test series against Zealand, while uncapped duo Harry Brook and Matty Potts were named in the squad on Wednesday.

Broad and Anderson were omitted for the 1-0 series defeat against West Indies in the Caribbean following the 4-0 Ashes hammering in Australia.

But the experienced seam duo are in the first squad under new captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, with the opening match of the series against the Black Caps starting at Lord's on June 2.

Yorkshire batter Brook and Durham paceman Potts have been handed maiden call-ups after impressive starts to the County Championship seamer.

Brook, who made his T20 debut for England in the Caribbean earlier this year, has an incredible average of 151.60 in the County Championship this season, while Potts is the leading wicket-taker with 35 and claimed 7-40 in a win over Glamorgan last time out.

With former captain Joe Root batting at number four, Ollie Pope is set to come in at number three in the order.

"This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben and Brendon," managing director of men’s cricket Rob Key stated.

"With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month's Test series.

"We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the County season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level.

"It promises to be a mouthwatering series, and I can't wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side.

"It is a fascinating prospect for everyone connected with the sport in this country."

England Test Squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook,, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matty Potts, Ollie Pope, Joe Root.

Brendon McCullum is the "perfect person" to turn around England's Test fortunes, according to Andrew Strauss, who was a part of the selection panel for the new men's head coach.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests, leading to the resignation of captain Joe Root, with Ben Stokes stepping up as skipper in April.

Former opener Rob Key was also appointed as managing director of men's cricket and was tasked with reshaping the faltering structure to make England competitive once more in the five-day game.

As well as confirming Stokes as captain, a decision was made to hire separate coaches for the red ball and limited-overs sides, with McCullum announced as Test coach on Thursday.

The decision represents somewhat of a gamble as New Zealand legend McCullum has only ever coached T20 franchises in the form of Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders and their Caribbean Premier League affiliate Trinbago Knight Riders.

However, McCullum played 101 Tests for New Zealand and captained the side through a transformative period, and Strauss believes the 40-year-old is a great appointment by England.

"I'm delighted and I'm excited. He blew us away with his clarity of thinking and his simple approach," the England and Wales Cricket Board's strategic adviser Strauss told Sky Sports.

"He's a very positive guy with a very clear mindset and he will embed that in the Test team at a time when confidence is a bit low and people need a bit of clarity and direction.

"He's an impressive guy. He can't wait to start and, quite frankly, I can't wait for him to start.

"[As a player] he was incredibly ambitious, he used to run down the wicket against some of the quickest bowlers in the world.

"He always took the positive option, he wasn't scared of failing, he wasn't scared of making mistakes and I think that is what this Test team needs at the moment.

"They need someone to back them, to give them confidence and inspire them, and they need to break the shackles and realise how good they are. I think he's the perfect person to do that."

McCullum's first task will see England host his country of birth, New Zealand, in a three-Test series that starts at Lord's on June 2.

Former England captain Michael Atherton has praised the "bold and imaginative" appointment of Brendon McCullum by England.

McCullum was named England's new Test head coach on Thursday, replacing Chris Silverwood after his dismissal in the wake of the 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia.

Rob Key decided to bring in separate Test and white-ball head coaches after he was appointed as managing director of England men's cricket last month and chose McCullum for the longer form of the game.

"I think it's a very bold and imaginative choice, and an inspiring choice from Rob Key," Atherton told Sky Sports.

"Giving Ben Stokes the captaincy was the obvious choice and so his first big decision was to give Brendon McCullum the Test job.

"A week or so ago I don't think that was on anybody's radars, so he's not made the obvious choice here, but I think it's a very bold choice."

McCullum captained New Zealand and has coached in limited overs cricket in the Caribbean and Indian Premier Leagues, but this is his first coaching job in Test cricket.

Atherton does not think that lack of experience is a problem, however.

"I don't think it's a concern. Some other people within the professional coaching environment may think so," the former Lancashire batsman said.

"His limited coaching experience has come in the IPL with the Kolkata Knight Riders and in the CPL with their sister team. But he did play 100 Tests, scored a Test match triple hundred and he was very significant in Test cricket in his own right.

"As captain, he really led New Zealand into a brave new era, from the moment he took over – in Cape Town 2013 – the very first innings New Zealand were bowled out for 45. It was a really low ebb and a very difficult transition from Ross Taylor.

"But after that, he led boldly and fearlessly, and transformed that New Zealand team to the point which he laid the foundations for Kane Williamson's team that became World Test champions and have been very significant players in ICC events. So as a captain and as a leader, he's got plenty of experience in Test cricket."

Atherton also believes the relationship between McCullum and new England skipper Ben Stokes should thrive given both have similar aggressive approaches to the game.

"He's a nice fit with Stokes, they both approach the game and play the game in a similar manner and they'll look to give very clear message, captain and coach, and show they're singing from the same hymn sheet to a team you now expect to be given a bit of freedom and licence to play," he said.

"Neither Stokes nor McCullum are shy characters when it comes to playing the game of cricket, they like to take the game on and play it aggressively.

"One assumes that McCullum as a coach is going to be very similar to McCullum as a player and captain."

Brendon McCullum's appointment as England's Test head coach is "good news" for James Anderson and Stuart Broad, according to former New Zealand bowler Simon Doull.

McCullum was confirmed on Thursday as the successor to Chris Silverwood, taking up his first coaching role at international level.

The former Black Caps captain will step down from his role as head coach of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders at the end of the season, having also previously coached similarly named Caribbean Premier League team, Trinbago Knight Riders.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Doull believes McCullum's loyalty will mean England's two leading Test wicket takers will have no concerns about being left out of the squad again, after both were overlooked for the recent Test series against West Indies.

When asked if it would be good news or bad news for Anderson and Broad shortly before the official confirmation, Doull replied: "Good news. Absolute good news.

"Not only is [McCullum] an astute cricketer and an astute cricket brain, he's also quite a loyal bloke and I think there is a little bit of cricket left in both those guys, and probably a little bit more in Stuart Broad than some might think, so I would imagine it'll be very good news for those gentlemen."

Doull also said he thinks McCullum will get on well with Stokes, who was appointed as Joe Root's replacement as England's Test captain last month.

"I think there's a huge amount of respect already," he said. "I'd like to think [Stokes] would be the sort of captain who would want to own that team, and I don't think Brendon will have a problem with that whatsoever.

"He will do everything he can to get the best out of what is, outside of Joe Root, England's best cricketer... He knows as well as a captain [with New Zealand], he kind of ran that team. [Former head coach] Mike Hesson facilitated, he coached from the periphery... but Brendon basically ran that team and I would imagine he'll look for Ben Stokes to do the same thing.

Doull – who made 32 Test appearances for the Black Caps, taking 98 wickets – was also keen to back McCullum, in particular suggesting that he will want England to play their own style, rather than trying to adopt another.

"[McCullum's] best qualities? Very simple as far as his philosophies are concerned," he added.

"He turned New Zealand around completely [as captain], just because he wanted a New Zealand way to play and maybe that's something he'll look to do with England as well. Play the England style of cricket rather than trying to play like someone else, or invent a style that's not really suitable for English players.

"He's a straight talker... there's no airs and graces about Brendon. He's a South Island boy brought up pretty hard, pretty tough, and he played his cricket exactly that way.

"He will have enormous respect from the players... and he's obviously already had good conversations with Ben Stokes and [England managing director] Rob Key.

"So communication, tough but honest, and he will find a philosophy, I think, that works. Those will be his key things." 

New Zealand centre Anton Lienert-Brown will be out for around six months after undergoing shoulder surgery.

The midfielder was injured during the Chiefs' 25-0 Super Rugby Pacific defeat to the Blues on Saturday.

Lienert-Brown will go under the knife this week and is facing a long spell on the sidelines.

The Chiefs said: "It has been confirmed that Anton will require surgery on his shoulder that was injured last Saturday. He is expected to return to rugby after approximately 6 months.

"The Chiefs Rugby Club wish Anton all the best for a speedy recovery."

Lienert-Brown posted on Instagram: "Shoulder is going to need a bit more work than I was hoping, going under the knife this week which will put me out for 6 months.

"A bump in the road, but the journey continues. I'll be back. Appreciate all the support."

Lienert-Brown damaged the same shoulder during New Zealand's defeat to Ireland in Dublin last November, ruling him out of a loss to France. 

Ross Taylor was given a guard of honour by Netherlands players but there was no dream final New Zealand innings for the legendary batter at Seddon Park on Monday.

There was a standing ovation for Taylor as he walked out to the crease in Hamilton and the tourists lined up to show their appreciation for his brilliant career during the third and final ODI of the series.

The 38-year-old was caught and bowled by Logan van Beek for only 14 before departing to another standing ovation.

Taylor later led New Zealand out onto the field before Netherlands started their pursuit of a huge target of 334 for a consolation victory.

The former Black Caps captain's children joined him on the pitch for the pre-match national anthems prior to his international swansong.

Taylor retires as New Zealand's highest ODI run-scorer with 8,593 at an average of 47.73, while he has also scored the most hundreds (21) and half-centuries (51) for his country in the 50-over format.

The Blacks Caps great racked up 7,683 runs in 112 Tests and 1,909 in 102 T20 Internationals.

Only one batter scored more than 200 runs in seven matches, they dropped more than 20 catches and had the worst catching efficiency of all the teams, and they crashed out in ignominious fashion losing by 157 runs to Australia on Tuesday night but West Indies Women Captain Stafanie Taylor believes the team played well in the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup.

In what could rank as one of their poorest performances of the World Cup, West Indies Women were bowled out for 148 chasing a target of 306, losing by 157 runs via Duckworth/Lewis method in the rain-shortened game.

Only Taylor (48), Matthews (34) and Dottin (34) made any score of note as the West Indies Women wilted under the pressure of the chase and incisive bowling from the Australian attack.

Notwithstanding, the abject performance in the match and in the tournament where after opening with scores of 259-9 and 225-6, the West Indies Women failed to score 200 runs or more for the remainder of the tournament, Taylor was hopeful for the future.

“No one expected us to win the first two games and to be in the semi-finals,” she said after the ended world cup campaign.

“I think the way we played throughout the tournament had been really good. We had some ups and downs and that happens but it’s about learning and I believe we are still learning and I am proud of the way we played. We still have more to go and you’ll see us around again.”

Matthews, who opened the tournament with a brilliant 119 against hosts New Zealand, was the leading scorer for the WIW with 260 runs at an average of 37.14. Shemaine Campbell with an aggregate of 185 runs had the next best average of 30.83.

Deandra Dottin scored 199 runs but averaged just 28.42 while Taylor averaged 21.57 from an aggregate of 151 runs during the tournament.

Matthews was also the leading wicket-taker with 10 wickets in the tournament and was the only West Indies Women bowler in double figures.

 

 

 

West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews says all the pressure is on Australia ahead of their ICC Women’s World Cup semi-final clash in Wellington on Tuesday.

The West Indies Women are in the semi-finals of the 2022 ICC Women's World Cup after Lady Luck worked in their favour on Saturday night.

The West Indies Women, on seven points from their seven games, following no-result against South Africa on Wednesday, March 23, needed either Bangladesh to defeat England or South Africa to defeat India for them to advance.

England crushed Bangladesh by 100 runs earlier Saturday, which meant that the West Indies Women were dependent on a positive result from the South Africa versus India encounter.

The situation looked grim when India posted 274-7 in their 50 overs thanks to half centuries of 71 from Smriti Mandhana, 53 from Shafali Verma, 68 from Captain Mithali Raj as well as Harmanpreet Kaur's 48.

However, Laura Woolvardt smashed 80, Laura Goodall scored 49 and Mignon du Preez an unbeaten 52 as South Africa scored 275-7, the winning run coming off the last ball of the match.

The South African victory set off wild celebrations among the West Indies Women, whose members had gathered to watch the match.

They will now face unbeaten Australia in the semi-final on Tuesday.

The West Indies now have two wins and two losses at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup after suffering a crushing seven-wicket loss to favourites Australia in Wellington on Monday.

The Caribbean side won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch that seemed to offer both batters and bowlers an opportunity to shine.

Unfortunately, the Windies innings never got out of first gear after losing both Hayley Matthews (0) and Deandra Dottin (16) early.

Captain Stafanie Taylor did her best to bring stability to the innings with a trying 50 off 91 balls but her dismissal in the 41st over signalled the end of the West Indies resistance as they were swiftly bowled out for 131 after 46 overs.

Ellyse Perry was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with 3-22 off eight overs, while Ashleigh Gardner took 3-25 off 10.

Australia then coasted to their fourth straight win, getting to 132-3 off 30.2 overs with Rachel Haynes finishing not out on 83.

The West Indies now find themselves fifth on the points table with four points from four games, while Australia are first with a perfect eight points from their four encounters.

The West Indies will next tackle Bangladesh on Thursday.

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh has revealed that confidence is high among his players but warns against complacency as the team prepares for its upcoming clash against India on Friday.

The West Indies Women went into the tournament as underdogs but defeated New Zealand and defending champions England in their first two matches to put themselves in a great position to advance to the next round of the competition.

According to Walsh, who spoke with the media on Wednesday, the ladies are feeling good about themselves.

“The girls are very happy. They are in a very good place with those two wins,” Walsh revealed.

“When you beat New Zealand in New Zealand for the first time and then a win against England for the first time in a World Cup game and they are two teams that are ranked above us, obviously you must take some pride in that, so the ladies are very happy with that.”

However, he warned that there is no place for overconfidence so they must work to keep themselves grounded.

“They really worked hard to achieve those victories and it’s going to give us a lot of confidence. The one thing we want to try and do now is to ensure that we don’t get too complacent, just take each game as it comes but we will go into every game with a lot more self-belief and giving it everything that we have,” he said.

Walsh will be hoping his words find fertile ground among his players as they will be coming up against a talented Indian team still smarting from their 62-run defeat to New Zealand on Thursday.

New Zealand sealed back-to-back victories after a disciplined bowling performance helped them bowl out India for 198, after setting them a target of 261 to chase.

It was a slow start for the Indian openers Yastika Bhatia and Smriti Mandhana, with runs hard to come by.  The pressure paid off as Jess Kerr dismissed Mandhana for 6, with the opener chipping it straight to cover. Deepti Sharma also couldn't last long, with Lea Tahuhu trapping her lbw for 5 in what turned out to be a successful review as India slipped to 26/2.

Bhatia, joined by Mithali Raj, failed to up the tempo as the hosts kept up the disciplined line and length. Bhatia would finally perish for 28, with a leading-edge to cover, as Tahuhu celebrated her second scalp. Raj would be joined by Harmanpreet Kaur, with a tall task ahead for the two veteran Indian batters.

After 25 overs, India were 75/3 in their chase of 261, with a mountain to climb. 

As Raj started to up the ante, she was outfoxed by a tossed-up delivery by Amelia Kerr, with the Indian skipper walking back for 31 off 56 deliveries. The very next delivery from Kerr would reap the wicket of Richa Ghosh for a duck – a beautiful wrong'un bowling the Indian batter. 

India would stutter along for the next few overs, with Harmanpreet and Sneh Rana failing to accelerate, as the required rate kept on climbing up. Tahuhu would scalp her third in 37th over, sending Rana packing for 18 with a short delivery. Vastrakar also couldn't contribute much with the bat, perishing against Hannah Rowe for 6.

With the match all but slipped away, Harmanpreet started unleashing a flurry of shots, bringing up her half-century. There were a couple of massive hits before she went for one too many, holing out to long-off after an entertaining knock of 71 off only 63 deliveries.

Jhulan Goswami and Meghna Singh would open up their arms and clear the boundaries, but it was a case of too little and too late for India. They would be bowled out for 198, losing the match by 62 runs. The result gave New Zealand another crucial two points, making it two wins in three for the White Ferns.

At the backend of their bowling innings, India fought back brilliantly after Amy Satterthwaite with a half-century had given the White Ferns a perfect platform. The left-hander was joined by wicket-keeper Katey Martin, promoted to No.6 to launch at the backend of the innings. Satterthwaite took 60 balls to reach fifty, also ticking over a fifty partnership with Maddy Green in the process.

Alongside Martin, Satterthwaite would stitch another crucial 49-run stand as New Zealand etched closer to mounting a big score on the board.

Martin got a second life as Pooja Vastrakar spilled a simple catch off the bowling of Rajeshwari Gayakwad in the 42nd over, but she made up for it in the very next over, dismissing Satterthwaite who was trying to chip the ball with an on-drive, Satterthwaite could only find Mithali Raj at mid-wicket. This brought to an end a brilliant knock of 75 in 84 deliveries. 

The wicket helped India mount a late fightback in the death overs. Hayley Jensen would depart, failing in her attempt to sweep Gayakwad and getting her off-stump knocked over. 

Vastrakar then delivered a cracking 47th over, in which she took consecutive wickets and was on a hat-trick. Tahuhu was first bowled by a brilliant yorker on 1. On the very next delivery, Vastrakar again delivered a sizzling yorker, with the ball deflecting off Jess Kerr's pads as she was bowled for a duck. Frances Mackay managed to dig the third yorker in a row out as Vastrakar missed out on a sensational feat. 

Katey Martin's valuable knock of 41 came to an end in the final over as Goswami knocked her over. With the wicket, Goswami became the joint-highest wicket-taker in Women's World Cup history, joining Lynette Ann Fullston at the top with 39 scalps. 

Goswami would only concede 5 in the final over as the New Zealand innings came to an end at 260/9. 

 

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