England head coach Brendon McCullum wants his team to play an aggressive brand of Test cricket during their upcoming three-match Test series in Pakistan.
Under McCullum’s guidance, Ben Stokes & Co. has shown plenty of aggression in the longest format of the game. They first thrashed the Black Caps (3-0) and then edged past the Proteas (2-1) at home this summer.
“One of the things we try and do is respect the conditions but at the same time if we are given the opportunity to try and play aggressive and attacking cricket, we’ll try and take that option,” said McCullum, while addressing the reporters on Monday.
“The guys who are in our squad, that’s how they play their cricket and that’s what gives them the most amount of freedom and the best opportunity to perform at the highest level.”
The first Test begins in Rawalpindi on Thursday (December 1), with the series to be completed just before Christmas.
England drew large crowds for a seven-match T20I series in Karachi and Lahore in September-October before the recently-concluded T20 World Cup in Australia, where they defeated Pakistan by five wickets in the final.
“That’s what we want from red-ball cricket all around the world, stadiums packed out and fans getting behind their local team,” McCullum added.
“We’re lucky that the crowd here is sold out and that’s kind of what we want. The skipper (Stokes) wants them to be rockstars and to be a rockstar you’ve got to play in front of the big houses. We’ve got that opportunity to do that.”
McCullum also confirmed that fast bowler Mark Wood is unfit to play the Rawalpindi Test due to a hip injury but should be fine by the start of the remaining games. Wood has taken 82 wickets in 26 Tests at an average of 31.9, and he is often the enforcer in the English bowling unit.