England have been a vastly different Test team in the two Test matches that they have played under the leadership of their new head coach and captain, Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes respectively. While there have been moments when it looked like they might lose the two matches, they managed to pull off extraordinary chases on both occasions to seal a series win.
Senior fast bowler Stuart Broad said that McCullum's philosophy is all about how to move the game forward. This was evident in the final session of the second Test, in which an extraordinary 179-run partnership between Jonny Bairstow and Stokes, which came in just 121 balls, helped England chase down a target of 299 despite having started their second innings only halfway through the first session.
"It does feel really fresh and exciting in the changing room," said Broad. "It's a very positive language. It's very forward-thinking, all about how to move this game forward."
The series is England's first under former New Zealand captain McCullum, who took over as coach last month following the exit of Chris Silverwood. England's limited overs captain Eoin Morgan had said after they won the 2019 World Cup that the team's revolution in white ball cricket was inspired by how McCullum's New Zealand side played.
England's attacking performance was in contrast to their approach against the same opponents at Lord's a year ago, when they did not even attempt to take on a final day target of 273 and settled for a draw.
"This is no dig but at tea, when we were four down with the game in the balance slightly, I've certainly been in changing rooms in the past where that would be shut up shop time," Broad said.
"Baz's team talk was very much, 'let's attack the danger; let's run towards the danger', so every part of your mind is about going for this win.
"It was never really a case of, 'if we lose one we might shut up shop'. It was always 'we're going to win' and if it doesn't work, don't worry about it."