Have Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum brought the fun back to English Test cricket?

Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum's first Test win brought a new dawn to English Test cricket or is everyone getting ahead of themselves far too early? Tim Ellis assesses the situation.

Hot on the heels of Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee, England have finally won a Test match. It's a new exciting era of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum - Batman and Bazman. You gotta sell this to the people. Cricket is back and it's a damn sight more interesting than the Nations League.

Don't laugh but there were some similarities between the opening day last Thursday and the brave new England that ran out at the home of cricket for the 2005 Ashes.

Remember those halcyon times of Channel Five and the suave Mark Nicholas, the shouty Michael Slater and the mocking Sir Geoffrey Boycott? What fun we had.

Seventeen years ago, Harmy/Flinty/Jonesy and Hoggy blew apart the Australians for under 200 but England crash-landed on 92 for 7 with only KP's skunk hairstyle keeping us interested.

This time, Broady, Jimmy and Pottsy did the damage as the Kiwis were bundled out in an old school John Player Sunday League style 40 overs. Zak Crawley and Alex Lees aren't exactly alternative Andrew Strauss and Marcus Trescothick, but they fronted up well.

Then, the well dried up.

Ollie Pope wished he could be here today and gone tomorrow. Unfortunately, it was one flashing blade shot and out. Popey won't die wondering. He's usually dismissed before he has time to think.

Coach Baz will continually espouse "freedom" to try and loosen the Surrey youngster from his torture. It didn't do Mel Gibson any good, but it's worth a try.

When Roooooooot departed, the longest tail since Giddins, Tufnell, Such and Mullally walked the earth was exposed. Seventeen wickets of carnage. The MCC was looking at a lost (revenue) weekend.

However, this shiny new team under the guardianship of Brendon "Half Glass Continually Refilled" McCullum took the attitude that everything was great even after a gut punch.

Almost 230 behind at the end of the second day, the scene was set for another loss. Yet the coach painted a rosier picture of getting the last six wickets for under 50. England did exactly that. Simples. Or a Cinch as the sponsor might say. Just a state of mind, isn't it?

The post-match adjectives from Broad and Anderson were telling.

First, Stuey rose above the party parapet to pay tribute to the atmosphere in the camp, an atmosphere considerably better than in the Caribbean a few months back.

"It's been one of the most fun weeks we've had as a team," he said.

"I don't think anyone who came to Lord's can argue it's not been fun, the style of cricket, edge of the seat at times, the crowd has got involved and it's something we want to take to Trent Bridge."

If that was encouraging from a man who likes to talk himself up, then there could only be eternal surprise from the reaction of the 'grumpy bastard' Jimmy Anderson.

"There's been a good vibe. I have enjoyed the positivity. That first day when we lost wickets, in years gone by we'd be too down about that and got worried and stressed," he said.

"But the message from the coach and captain was that we'd bowled brilliantly, fielded brilliantly."

For the time being the shoegazing has stopped. Matty Potts looks a natural and settled in straight away even if semi-Daddy Stokes was there to guide him along.

Talking of Stokes, how good was that 50? It's not Headingley. We are not going there. It was just a release to watch him go after his awkward conservatism in Oz. Root took charge of what he's good at (sorry, Joe, it's not the captaincy) and embraced the opportunity to be the king at the crease.

There were smiles everywhere. Families everywhere. More fun than a packed airport at half-term.

Who knows how long this honeymoon period will last before the ice cream melts. You would not bet the house wine let alone the house on this current England team. The difference is they are going to have some fun along the way and that's okay.

In 2013, the world-weary Andy Flower miserabilists played New Zealand when personnel in the team were about to implode. Almost a decade on, the McCullum and Stokes approach is going to try and engage the public.

It's worth a watch at least.

Read more: 16 conclusions from England's first Test win over New Zealand at Lord's

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