NEWCASTLE, England — With the arrival of the pre-season tour of South Africa, the Blues are back in the driver’s seat.
The squad is set to depart on Thursday for South Africa’s first of two Test series against South Africa.
After winning the Ashes last year, Blues boss Brendon McCullum is hoping to make up for that defeat by winning the series, as well as a series of other matches.
His focus is to find his next best team, and with the squad set to travel to South Africa to take on the South Africa Lions in Johannesburg on Sunday, McCullum knows that his squad is a must-win match for the Blues in their quest to reach the 2019 Ashes series.
“We’ve got the squad that we’re going to play and we’ve got to get that squad in the best possible shape to go out there and put in the performance that we want to play,” McCullum told ESPNcricinfo.
I think that’s what we’ve done in the last two years and we’ll do it again and again and we have a squad that will put in performances, I think that we have the squad to do that.
“South Africa have lost three of their past five Tests and have lost their last two series, including their second Test against Australia.
South Africans have lost all three Tests they have played in South Africa since the 2010 series and are now 4-0 up against the Lions in the series.”
They’re a team that are going to put in their best performance and it’s a good team to play against and it’ll be interesting to see how the other teams go,” McCullram said.
In other news…
Brisbane Lions captain and captain Andrew Smith has been named the captain of the Brisbane Lions in a three-man match-day squad.
Smith, who was selected by South Africa in the 2012 Ashes and is also a member of the touring team, has taken up his position as captain of a Lions side that is in the midst of a rebuild.
ESPNcricInfo’s analysis of the Lions’ series against England was conducted by James Wood, with assistance from Josh Langer.