McCullum, Taylor `join hands` to beat England in Lord`s Test

London: Current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and former skipper Ross Taylor have reportedly put their problems behind and joined hands in a bid to defeat England in the first Test at Lord`s.

According to the Guardian, a teenaged Taylor first met McCullum, who was then the captain of the New Zealand Under-19s team for a three-match series against South Africa, in 2001, following which both cricketers` and lives and careers became closely linked.

The report further said that although within a year, McCullum was making his senior international debut against Australia, few then would have predicted that Taylor would become captain before him, which he did in 2010 following an injury to Daniel Vettori which created vacancy in the squad for a one-day tournament in Sri Lanka.

According to the report, the problems started when coach Mike Hesson recommended that McCullum should take over in one-day and Twenty20 cricket, informing Taylor just before the Test series in Sri Lanka, following which Taylor angrily rejected the chance to continue as Test captain even after he had batted brilliantly to secure a series-squaring victory over Sri Lanka.

However, McCullum suggested that their history had helped the process of healing their strained relationship, adding that he and Taylor had shared good moments on and off the field in the eight to 10 years they have been playing together starting from youth cricket to international cricket, adding that they will continue enjoying their moments together.

Stating that beating England at Lord`s, where New Zealand have won once in 1999 from the 15 previous Tests, would qualify as one of those moments, McCullum further said that it is a spiritual place to play.

McCullum is one of the only three members of the current squad, with Taylor and Tim Southee, to have experienced a Lord`s Test, having made a run-a-ball 97 in a rain-affected draw five years ago, and 96 in a losing cause in his fourth Test appearance in 2004, the report added.