Home Estate Planning England coach McCullum praises Stokes’ empathetic leadership

England coach McCullum praises Stokes’ empathetic leadership

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England Test head coach Brendon McCullum has praised Ben Stokes’ “empathetic” leadership after his side lost their second match against India to leave the series drawn.

Captain Stokes’ side were beaten by 106 runs in the second Test against India having overcome a 190-run deficit at the half-way point to win the first Test.

“There are heaps of positives. Our spin bowling unit, albeit young and raw, have shown they’ve got what it takes,” McCullum said.

“I put it down to the skipper. He has total conviction in his methods and is incredibly empathetic towards people.

“He spends time with them to ensure his messaging is really consistent, in his body language and behaviours, and he backs up what he says to them off the field with opportunities on the field and is desperate to lead this team and he wants to take this team to whatever level he can take it.

McCullum in control

“I am absolutely delighted in how they have performed with very little experience under their belt. You look around and you just see guys who look like they belong at international level.

“I think 1-1 is probably a fair reflection of where the contest is at the moment and, if the next three Tests are anything like these last two, it’s going to be one hell of a series.

“There are three Tests left, still an opportunity to score a whole s*** ton of runs.”

England are set to return to Abu Dhabi – the location of their pre-tour camp – for five days before heading to the third Test in Rajkot.

They have not won a Test series in India since 2013 and suffered a 3-1 loss the last time they travelled to this year’s hosts.

The tourists have been suffering from a virus and Joe Root has a minor finger injury but the former captain is expected to return for the third Test – only bowler Jack Leach is a current doubt for the Rajkot Test.

“It is still pretty inflamed, but I don’t really know because he has been crook,” McCullum added.

“His knee is pretty bad though and it was remarkable he got through what he did in the first Test match.”

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