'Nervous' Michael Vaughan reacts to England's appointment of Brendon McCullum

Michael Vaughan believes England’s appointment of Brendon McCullum as Test coach is a ‘big risk’ and admits the move makes him ‘nervous’.

Former New Zealand captain McCullum was officially named as England’s new red-ball coach on Thursday and replaces Chris Silverwood in the role.

McCullum, who has signed a four-year deal with England, will be in place for the Test series against his home country New Zealand in June.

The 40-year-old has never coached in first-class cricket but has established himself as one of the most highly-rated white-ball coaches in the world since retiring from playing in 2019.

McCullum is currently head coach of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and previously guided Trinbago Knight Riders to the 2020 Caribbean Premier League title.

Former captain Vaughan believes England fans are in for an ‘interesting ride’ during McCullum’s reign but is surprised new managing director Rob Key overlooked former South Africa and India coach Gary Kirsten.

‘England’s bold appointment of Brendon McCullum makes me nervous,’ he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

‘If English cricket has overlooked someone like Gary Kirsten for a second time I do find it incredibly bizarre.

‘I don’t see how we have made that call twice. He is the perfect mentor, thinker and culture driver who has done it before and has the t-shirt.

‘What England have gone for in Brendon is exciting and a big name, but it is a big risk as well.

‘He is taking over England at the right time. They are at their lowest ebb since the mid 1990s.

‘He will not have to do much for us all to see a massive improvement but if it doesn’t happen quickly then there will be questions asked about his appointment and whether England would have been better off with a safer pair of hands, more experienced and know how to coach in Test cricket.

‘But one thing is for sure, we are in for an interesting ride.’

McCullum is known for his attacking style of play, both as a player and a coach, but Vaughan says his priority must be to make England harder to beat.

England won just one of their last 17 Tests under former captain Joe Root, losing the Ashes 4-0 in Australia last winter and being beaten by West Indies in March.

‘I am all for attacking play and being aggressive but I don’t think this England Test team is in a position to play that way at the moment,’ Vaughan added.

‘They have to take small steps first, get used to playing long hard periods of Test cricket and then in time, if you get a group of players with a lot of confidence, they can play more flamboyantly.

‘They need a bit of “backs to the walls” stuff first. I hope Brendon can drive that.’

McCullum, who played 101 Tests for New Zealand from 2004 to 2016, will work closely with new England Test captain Ben Stokes.

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