Ind vs Eng: Brendon McCullum reacts to heavy defeat in third Test

England suffered a defeat by 434 runs in Rajkot

By Web Desk
February 19, 2024
This defeat was Bazball's sixth in 21 matches since June 2022 - AFP

Head coach Brendon McCullum stated England are "hurting" after their massive defeat by India, but have no regrets.

England suffered a defeat by 434 runs in the third Test in Rajkot, marking their most substantial loss in terms of runs since 1934 and putting them at a 2-1 disadvantage in the five-match series.

"We'll turn the page and go quids in again trying to put India under pressure," said McCullum.

"Hopefully in seven or eight days we'll be talking about how exciting it is to be heading into a decider."

The fourth Test in Ranchi begins on Friday.

A splendid victory for England in the initial Test in Hyderabad was succeeded by losses in Visakhapatnam and Rajkot. In both the second and third Tests, England squandered promising chances to seize control.

During the third morning in Rajkot, England stood at 224-2 in response to the hosts' 445, with Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin being absent due to a family emergency.

However, England lost eight wickets for 95 runs to surrender the initiative and, little more than a day later, collapsed to 122 all out in their second innings to hand India their biggest win of all time.

England has enjoyed great success under McCullum and captain Ben Stokes, with a swashbuckling brand of cricket earning 14 wins from 20 Tests prior to Rajkot.

But this defeat has led to criticism that their method is not adaptable enough for the changing situations and conditions of Test cricket.

McCullum told BBC Sport he absolutely understands the criticism, but his team will block out outside noise.

"People are entitled to their opinion, good, bad or ugly," said the former New Zealand captain. "It's up to us whether we want to listen to it or not.

"The dressing room is a very strong place where confidence is high and guys are backed to go out there and allow their talent to flourish. If we allow the outside noise to seep in, that's our problem."

McCullum and Stokes took over after England had endured a run of only one win in 17 Tests. This defeat was their sixth in 21 matches since June 2022.