And the 40-year-old has been tasked with transforming a struggling side that has won just one of their last 17 Test matches and failed to win any of their last five Test series. McCullum’s only experiences as a coach have come on the T20 franchise circuit, with Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders and their Caribbean Premier League counterparts Trinbago Knight Riders.
However, he played a total of 101 Test matches for New Zealand and helped revolutionise their side as captain, laying the foundations for their World Test Championship win under Kane Williamson last year.
Grant Elliott, who played under McCullum’s leadership, believes he has what it takes to turnaround England’s Test fortunes. Speaking to Radio NZ, Elliott said: “He’d be strong candidate because he’s been through that as captain, he’s been through a change of environment, a change in philosophy around playing.
“When you look at when Brendon came on as captain when New Zealand were bowled out for 45 in South Africa in the first Test match with him as captain, I think he recalled it as probably his lowest point as captain and it was time for change and that’s exactly what happened.
“He was a integral part to where New Zealand are now so England obviously needs a little bit of change and wherever that change lies, whether it’s at the international level or the county level if he does get the position I think that he would know about how to go about that and how to get to that end goal and what that will look like for England cricket.”
Anthony Au-Yeung-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)
Elliott also believes McCullum’s lack of coaching experience should not be a concern, insisting his experiences as a player will “stand him in really good stead” and that the England job will have “less pressure” than coaching in the IPL. “I think that’s probably the most pressure that you would get as a coach around the circuit because you’ve got privately owned teams and the pressures of the owners and as being an asset to them comes into play,” he added.
“There’s a lot of pressure on him as a coach in IPL and I think that pressure can be translated into international cricket, if anything international cricket fixtures there is less pressure on you as a coach.
“His playing experience will stand him in really good stead, he’ll understand what is going through the players heads and I think if you’ve got a coach who can mix those almost executive style characteristics that you need in the corporate with playing experience you’ve got a really good coach on your hands.”