Leeds. England captain Ben Stokes has credited picking the best player and new coach Brendon McCullum for his 3-0 series win over defending world Test champions New Zealand here. England with former Test captains Joe Root (86 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (71 not out) thrashed the visitors by seven wickets in the third and final Test at Headingley to lead the home team to victory.
It has been a major turnaround for England, ever since they lost the two-Test series to New Zealand in 2021, followed by a 0-4 Ashes defeat and a 0-1 Test series loss against West Indies.
Stokes said the clean sweep against New Zealand is a dream come true.
“It’s been really good,” Root said. To register a 3-0 win against the best team in the world is unprecedented. This will change the mindset of children towards Test cricket.
He added, “A lot of credit goes to Brendon McCullum and the backroom staff for this. Trent Bridges (2nd Test) was unbelievable but 55/6 and then what we did and the way we did it was the happiest thing. It really conveyed that players want to come and perform in the Test team. Matthew Potts bowled brilliantly. Stuart Broad and Jack Leach were excellent in the third Test.
Stokes said, “When we came together, we picked players who give the best in every situation. Ollie Pope has been brilliant, taking his form from Surrey to show the world what Pope is.
However, Stokes believed that India will be stronger than New Zealand when the two teams meet for the rescheduled fifth Test of last year’s series at Edgbaston from July 1.
Stokes said, India is a different opposition team but we will come out with the same mindset.
Root, who was named player of the series, said some of the cricket played by him, especially Jonny Bairstow batted well.
He said that success in Test cricket means enjoying the game. Also said that Stokes has got the game plan which he wants to implement against India at Edgbaston.
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