McCullum’s England Test revolution will have to wait a while

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum (Credits: Twitter)

Anyone hoping that Brendon McCullum’s first England Test squad would feature a radical change in personnel will have been left feeling rather deflated.

Harry Brook and Matthew Potts have received their first call-ups, but the rest of the 13-man squad for the upcoming matches against New Zealand contains no other debutants.

Having won just one of their last 17 Tests, fans were desperate to see McCullum usher in a new dawn with plenty of new faces. 

With that in mind, we take a closer look at some of the main talking points from the squad announcement.

Livingstone overlooked again

Plenty of respected pundits have been calling for Liam Livingstone to be given the opportunity to showcase his talents at Test level.

In his recent column on IPL betting site Betway, former England star Kevin Pietersen threw his weight behind the clamour for Livingstone to be called up.

The Lancashire batsman has been starring in the shorter version of the game, but has once again been overlooked by England’s Test selectors.

His omission from the squad smacks of taking a safe approach. If you can’t take risks given the current state of play, when can you?

Veterans stand in the way of progress

The decision to recall James Anderson and Stuart Broad is no real surprise, with the pair taking a combined 1,177 Test wickets during their careers.

They were left out of the 1-0 Test series defeat in the West Indies in March, but are now back in the fold for the upcoming matches against New Zealand.

However, recalling them to the squad is short-term thinking at its finest and an unwelcome move for a team that needs more new blood.

Henry Brookes (Warwickshire) and Jamie Overton (Surrey) can count themselves extremely unfortunate to miss out to accommodate veterans who should be stepping aside now.

Problem No 3 position remains unresolved

With Yorkshire’s Joe Root set to move to No 4 in the batting line-up, England have a few headaches to resolve higher up the order.

Former England opener Nick Compton was quick to point out the team’s deficiencies on Sky Sports and it is impossible to argue with his viewpoint.

The squad announcement does not appear to have addressed the problem No 3 position, which could have been resolved by including Lancashire’s Josh Bohannon.

He has bagged a double-hundred in the County Championship this season and is comfortable in the role. Quite why he has been omitted is anyone’s guess.

Brook and Potts get the chance to shine

Although it is disappointing that England have not been brave enough with their squad selection, Brook and Potts are undoubtedly welcome additions.

Brook has been the standout batsman in the County Championship this season, scoring 758 runs at an average of 151.60.

Potts is currently the leading bowler, taking 35 wickets and four five-wicket hauls including 7-40 in Durham’s recent victory over Glamorgan.

While it is great to see the pair in the squad, it is extremely disappointing that they are the only debutants.

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