Off The Field

“Was Like William Wallace”: Ben Foakes Hails Coach Brendon McCullum’s Inspirational Team Talk During Trent Bridge Test

Written by Mohan Sharma

England pulled off one of the most memorable wins in Test cricket when they beat New Zealand by five wickets in the second Test at Trent Bridge to take a decisive 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Remarkably, the hosts chased down a challenging total of 299 on the final day to win in Nottingham after dismissing the visitors for 284 in their second innings. England Test wicketkeeper Ben Foakes has now spoken about McCullum’s ‘Braveheart-style’ team talk during during the tea break on the final day of the Trent Bridge Test.

“Baz’s team talk at tea – it was like William Wallace!” Foakes was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “After he was done, everyone was desperate to get out there.

“The traditional Test approach in that situation would be ‘see how it goes, see how many wickets we’ve got left, then if the situation isn’t there, do we shut up shop?’ He was like, ‘Nah, we’re not doing that. We’re winning this game. If we don’t, so be it – we’ve done it the right way. It doesn’t matter if we don’t win this game.’ And it took the pressure off.”

“It has changed the way I look at Test cricket,” Foakes says. “With playing for England, there are obviously a lot of pressures, a lot of criticisms and things like that. If you think about that too much, it weighs on you. But over the last two weeks, it’s clear to see the positives and how amazing playing for England can be. Baz and Stokesy, the way they are, promote that.”

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Mohan Sharma