Brendon McCullum’s Joe Root captaincy verdict bodes well for new England skipper Ben Stokes

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Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes have been tasked with turning around an underachieving England side which currently sits bottom of the ICC World Test Championship

Brendon McCullum was highly critical of Joe Root’s captaincy

It is certainly fair to say that new England Test coach Brendon McCullum was not much of a fan of Joe Root’s captaincy.

During the recent Ashes series, McCullum was highly critical of Root’s leadership, stating that he “allows games to drift” and suggesting the fact that so few England batters have “been able to progress and achieve under Joe Root’s captaincy is a cause of concern”.

Speaking on his SENZ Radio show ‘Breakfast with Baz and Izzy’, McCullum said: “I think Joe Root is a wonderful guy and an outstanding cricketer. They talk about him as a very good leader… I haven’t really seen it.

“To me, leadership is not only about making the right call at the right time tactically as a skipper, which he’s not, to me, the best in the world at. I think he allows games to drift at times.

“What’s of more concern is that leadership is not just about being the best player in the team. Leadership is about inspiring those around you to achieve higher success than they would otherwise achieve.

“The fact that no one else in that batting line-up has been able to progress and achieve under Joe Root’s captaincy is a real cause of concern. Sometimes not always the best players make the best leaders, and at the moment there is some sort of disconnect in the batting group.”

McCullum’s statement that a captain should be “inspiring those around you to achieve higher success than they would otherwise” suggests he will work well with Root’s replacement as England skipper, Ben Stokes, who is the definition of an inspirational cricketer.

McCullum will work closely with Root’s successor Ben Stokes


Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

The all-rounder is capable of winning games with both bat and ball and Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket Rob Key has already said one of the reasons he appointed Stokes was his ability to “lead from the front”.

And McCullum is certainly looking forward to working with Stokes, having already labelled him the “perfect character to inspire change”. Speaking after he was appointed, McCullum said: “In taking this role on, I am acutely aware of the significant challenges the team faces at present, and I strongly believe in my ability to help the team emerge as a stronger force once we’ve confronted them head-on.

“I’m no stranger to bringing about change within a team environment, and I can’t wait to get started. Ben Stokes is the perfect character to inspire change around him, and I look forward to working closely with him to build a successful unit around us.”

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