With one win in 17 tests, the English cricket team found itself in a similar situation a month ago. It was deja vu - a lack of structure, inconsistent performances and management issues all coming to the fore. 

Fortunately, English cricket has been here before in white-ball cricket, and are looking to repeat the formula for red-ball cricket this time.

Brendon McCullum's hiring instantly revived interest in England. And with the stylish and effective all-rounder Ben Stokes as the new captain, the New Zealand-born pair aim to take English test cricket to the top. 

Following coaching positions in the Indian and Caribbean T20 Leagues, TV punditry, and a breakfast radio show back in New Zealand, 40-year-old Baz has reportedly given up a "wonderful life" in order to accept England's call. England has once again hired a New Zealander as their Test coach after searching abroad. Peter Moores (twice) and Chris Silverwood are the only Englishmen to have held the position since 1999. They are also the only England coaches to have indisputably failed throughout that time, for whatever reason.

However, McCullum's "grunty" aspirations were lured by the England white-ball revolution under the leadership of his dear friend Eoin Morgan and the potential for doing something similar with the Test side. 

McCullum is likely to make an impression on England regarding the value of the competitive spirit. "I don't see the need to play in any other way," he said last week to the BBC. "There is a mutual respect that should be across all teams. You still play hard on the field, but there are certain lines you don't need to cross." It will be up to McCullum and new captain Ben Stokes to give the England team, which has endured too much cricketing anonymity, something more than just a nice guy mentality.

Previous coach Chris Silverwood and captain Joe Root spoke of "huge first-inning runs" under the previous administration as if they had just formulated a new, robust game plan. It is reminiscent of a dated style of play in white-ball cricket prior to the 2019 World Cup.

For all of his strengths as a batsman and his even better characteristics as a person, Root frequently lost his tactical sensibilities, something Stokes should be able to avoid given McCullum's 31 Tests as captain.

"It's not rocket science," added McCullum. "You're trying to take wickets with the ball and shift pressure with the bat. It's not an overly extravagant gameplan - it's got some nice simplicity to it."

The fact that McCullum has never led a world-class squad has drawn a lot of attention. Although his 101 Test appearances as a player should atone for that, it is also important to keep in mind that Andy Flower, the head coach who led England to the top of the world rankings, had never previously led a first-class cricket team.

Even if some fans do not think McCullum is the best choice to revitalise the Test team, most will agree that his arrival brings a much-needed dash of intrigue to watching England, which has grown predictably excruciating over the past year and a half.

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Featured photo: Ian Kington / AFP