Brendon McCullum has hinted that he may attempt to reintegrate a number of England’s white-ball stars into the Test team, listing Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, and Liam Livingstone as players who could be part of his plans in the future.
On Friday, McCullum was introduced as England’s new Test coach at Lord’s, where he spoke at length about his plans to revitalise the squad. Despite the fact that the squad picked for the first Test against New Zealand next week included a number of cautious choices, McCullum intimated that he was interested in speaking with a number of players who have had more success for England in the limited-overs forms.
Buttler had a dreadful Ashes tour to Australia as the Test wicketkeeper, but he has recovered his form in the IPL, where he is the competition’s leading run-scorer. Moeen Ali, who retired from Test cricket last year, and the uncapped Livingstone both had successful IPL seasons; Rashid has not played a Test since the Caribbean tour in 2018-19, citing a wish to stay fresh for white-ball cricket.
“With the exception of a few short performances, Jos is one of those guys you look at and wonder how he could be so dominant in one form of the game and not quite have found his feet in Test cricket?” According to McCullum.
“There are definitely people you look at and think have a lot of skill and could help the team if given the chance.” There’s no reason why a player who excels at T20 can’t transfer those talents to Test cricket, as evidenced by some of the players who have dominated the IPL in recent months. It’s just a matter of trying to figure out how they’ll do it.”
“We’ll see,” McCullum remarked when asked if Moeen would be interested in returning to Test cricket. I’m sure Mo would challenge if he wanted to and was willing to put in the effort to get back into the side.” According to the Daily Mail, Moeen had spoken with McCullum and was planning a comeback in whites.
McCullum continued, “I’m not sure someone like Adil would play every game every year anyway.” “However, if they’re the finest cricketers, why not have a chat with them and see where it leads?”
Livingstone was named to the Test squad for the 2018 tour of New Zealand, but has since built a reputation for himself on the international T20 circuit. Last summer, he hit England’s fastest T20I century, coming off 42 balls, against Pakistan, and was a member of the T20 World Cup semi-finalist team. He has the greatest strike rate of everyone who scored 400 runs in this year’s IPL.
“Again, a debate about his appetite for Test cricket needs to be held,” McCullum added. “If he wants to play, how does he envision himself breaking into the team?”
“Just because you’re a good cricketer doesn’t guarantee you’ll be selected immediately.” To be able to do so, you must first gain the right to do so. I don’t have any preconceived notions about whether or not he is good enough. I simply look at him and think he’s a fantastic cricketer with whom I’d like to strike up a conversation.
“Obviously, you’ve got Livingstone, Moeen, and Rashid.” All of these players have experience playing international cricket and have had success in other sports, so you’d think they’d be able to make the move.
“When I look at them, I believe there will come a day when they will be given an opportunity if they put in enough effort.” There’s certainly been some hurt for those guys as well, since they’ve been in and out of the team at different points, and there hasn’t been that consistency for them.”