England head coach Brendon McCullum has paid a glowing tribute to captain Ben Stokes after a historic Test series triumph over Pakistan.
England’s eight-wicket triumph in Karachi completed an away shutout against Pakistan for the first time.
And Stokes was there at the end, unbeaten on 35, with fly-half Ben Duckett hitting an unbeaten 82, including the winners.
“Ben always pulls a string somewhere and the guys follow him. It makes it pretty easy from the coach box,” McCullum told Sky Sports.
“We see what he does on the pitch, and there’s a lot of genius in it all.
“He has an insatiable appetite to keep pushing the game forward. It’s the pure passion and drive he has to make a meaningful difference.
“He’s only going to get better, which is pretty scary.”
England had been pegged at 167 to win on the evening of day three and began their pursuit in a manner that epitomized the attacking brand of cricket played by the team, quickly reducing the required total to 55 overnight.
The pair quickly beat the aggregate in just 11.1 overs on the morning of day four.
McCullum added: “What we have seen over the past seven or eight months is that skill and talent are not in question.
“All we’re trying to do is stay consistent with the message, put a smile on your face whether things work out or not, and encourage guys to let their talent out without fear. failure.
“I think we took 20 wickets in a test nine times out of 10. You have to be able to knock teams out, and the group mantra is how do you get wickets? »
Stokes added on Sky Sports “The way the team run their business gives me so much confidence. It’s really special.
“I could stand here all day and talk about individual performances, but I should mention everyone.
“When you take that burden off the individuals and the team, you see players excelling and showing more of themselves.
“If the ambition (is) to win and play an entertaining brand of cricket, that’s going to outweigh any fear of failure. When that fear of failure isn’t there you just take better decisions.
“The release of this failure and the fear of everyone is the reason we have produced results.”
Former England captains Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton were enthusiastic about England’s performances throughout the series.
“To get 20 wickets three times in a row, and the rate of runs, was unbelievable,” Hussain told Sky Sports.
“Pakistan could not follow them. Everything they (England) touched turned to gold on this tour.
And Atherton added: “It’s an incredible transformation. It was a quick turnaround, and I don’t think anyone could have guessed how quickly it would happen. It was a great tour.