England set to kick off Ben Stokes era against New Zealand | Cricket News

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LONDON (Reuters) – England will be hoping for a fresh start under their new leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum against the coach’s native New Zealand at Lord’s on Thursday.
Stokes, himself born in New Zealand but brought up in Cumbria, northwest England, took over from Joe Root as skipper of the English Test after his close friend pulled out after a series of bad results.
The sacking of Chris Silverwood after a 4-0 loss in the Ashes series in Australia paved the way for McCullum’s appointment as the new England Test coach, the former New Zealand captain’s first game l against a team he knows so well.
England hope the attacking approach McCullum pioneered in launching a New Zealand revival that culminated in the Black Caps being crowned world Test champions last year after he retired as a player , rubbed off on his new team.
“My job will be to plan like you live forever, but live like you’re going to die tomorrow,” McCullum said ahead of a three-game series.

He would seem to have a kindred spirit by his side in Stokes, a versatile and aggressive player.
England also went ‘back to the future’ by recalling experienced new player duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad to their squad at Lord’s.
The pair, England’s two most successful bowlers at this level, with 1,177 Test wickets between them, were controversially omitted in a recent 1-0 series defeat in the Caribbean.
This reverse meant England had won just one of their last 17 Tests and were now bottom of the World Test Championship table.
But a rest and rotation policy, a consequence in part of tough coronavirus restrictions, is no longer favored by a new regime keen to focus on the game ahead of it.
Broad is eager to play his role, although he could be denied a 25th appearance at Lord’s this week amid competition from uncapped Craig Overton and Matthew Potts.

“From the outside, when you see a Brendon McCullum and a Ben Stokes mindset coming together, it’s pretty exciting,” Broad, 35, said.
“Brendon told the bowling group, ‘don’t focus too much on economy fare, I want wickets. Let’s try to get as many wickets as possible, as soon as possible’. So it’s ‘where can I get an extra slip Where can I get a short leg from?’ rather than being too defensive.”
New Zealand, who could be without Trent Boult following the recent arrival of the quick left-armer from the Indian Premier League, have played just two warm-up games in England before the first Test.
Last year, however, they had even less preparation ahead of a two-game run in England and still emerged 1-0 winners before beating India in the first Test World Championship final in Southampton.
Playing at Lord’s has inspired many tour teams, with New Zealand pacemaker Tim Southee – who won 20 wickets in four Tests at Lord’s, including five wicket runs in 2013 and 2021 which earned him a place on the locker room honors table — keen to add to his tally at the ‘Home of Cricket’.

“It’s a special place,” he said. “I’ve been lucky enough to play here a few times and you get a tingle every time you come here… You walk in, you look up and I think the first thing everyone does is look the honors roll and you see some pretty cool names.”
But teams may not be greeted by the sight of a traditional packed crowd for a test at Lord’s, with some 16,000 tickets in the first four days at the London pitch still available 48 hours before the match starts. .
Peak ticket prices of £160 ($202) a day amid cost-of-living concerns may have played a role in curtailing sales, events surrounding Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee of Grande Britain being another potential factor.
But Broad said England had a responsibility to get their fans excited.
“It’s not just the results, it’s the style of cricket,” he explained. “To attract fans, we have to build on that style of cricket and have a style that people want to watch.”



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