England’s new head coach Brendon McCullum wants his side to lose ‘fear of failure’

England’s upcoming clash with New Zealand will mark a fresh new start for the Test team, as new head coach Brendon McCullum looks to install a winning mentality.

The 40-year-old inherits an England team who sit bottom of the World Test Championship table following a rotten run of just one victory from 17 matches. 

McCullum has less than a week to go until his men spring into action against New Zealand at Lord's.

The three-match Test series with the Kiwis will also feature Ben Stokes as captain after he replaced Joe Root following a string of poor results.

Assessing England's struggles over the past 12 months, the former New Zealand captain said: "I see guys who are maybe just a little bit struck by the fear of failure rather than the possibility of success.

"I look at it with a different kind of lens. My first job is to try to bring a real fresh kind of approach and a relaxed style that simplifies things somewhat.

"It's not going to be easy, I understand that, and there'll be some guys that get there quicker than others. But one thing I can guarantee is that when you do get to that state where you're playing the game for the game's sake, because you enjoy it and you're invested in it and you immerse yourself in that moment, cricket's a great game to play.

"It's not a great game when you're worried about all the other stuff which goes on. That'll be the message which I keep ramming home to the boys."

England coach Brendon McCullum during a press conference at Lord's, London.

McCullum also suggested that the team's tendency towards tension may represent a wider issue within English cricket.

The new coach revealed he has already sought the advice of former England chiefs Andy Flower and Trevor Bayliss.

"Everyone's got it (fear) to a degree, but it's probably just a little more 'English'," he said.

"I've spoken to both Andy and also TB in a little bit of depth about the challenge and what it entails, and both were pretty similar in their views: that you've just got to try and take pressure away from the guys. That's one of the beauties of it because it's where a lot of my skills are.

"Maybe that's the thing with being from overseas, you can maybe identify that and go about trying to bring that simplified method in. Maybe if you're English, you're probably a little bit more involved in the whole thing. I don't know, maybe it's a coincidence, but we'll find out. I might be terrible!"

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