Shocking England statistic lays bare batting woes Brendon McCullum must correct

After enjoying a dream start to life as England Test coach when New Zealand were skittled for just 132 in their first innings at Lord’s, Brendon McCullum was treated to the perfect illustration of just how challenging a task he has taken on when it was his side’s turn to bat.

Despite a solid start from openers Zak Crawley and Alex Lees, who put on a 59-run partnership, England very quickly capitulated as New Zealand’s bowlers led a fightback. In what has become an all-too familiar sight for England fans in recent years, they collapsed from 59-0 to 141 all out.

In total, England lost 10 wickets for just 82 runs, making it the seventh time they have lost all 10 for 85 or less since the start of 2019. In the 30 years before that, England only managed it eight times.

That is a staggering statistic and illustrates exactly why England have won just one of their last 17 Test matches. Addressing England’s brittle batting line-up is number on McCullum’s to-do list and he believes it is simply a case of ridding the side of a “fear of failure”.

Speaking before the Test began, McCullum said: “I see guys who are maybe just a little bit struck by the fear of failure rather than the possibility of success. I look at it with a different kind of lens.

“My first job is to try to bring a real fresh kind of approach and a relaxed style that simplifies things somewhat. It’s not going to be easy, I understand that, and there’ll be some guys that get there quicker than others.

England lost all ten wickets for just 82 after reaching 59-0

England lost all ten wickets for just 82 after reaching 59-0
IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images)

“But one thing I can guarantee is that when you do get to that state where you’re playing the game for the game’s sake, because you enjoy it and you’re invested in it and you immerse yourself in that moment, cricket’s a great game to play.

“It’s not a great game when you’re worried about all the other stuff which goes on. That’ll be the message which I keep ramming home to the boys.”

McCullum’s message is a simple one but on the evidence of England’s recent performances, including their most recent collapse at Lord’s, it may well be some time before we see it taking effect.

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