Brendon McCullum believes turning England into a successful Test team can help save the game's longest format from the ravages of Twenty20.
McCullum started his first day as head coach of the Test team at Lord's on Saturday having arrived from the IPL the night before to begin a four-year deal.
He has promised to play attractive cricket to win over supporters after a poor run for the England Test side and believes he can lift them to No 1 in the world. They are currently sixth in the rankings with one Test victory in 17 matches and bottom of the Test championship table.
"Red-ball cricket is the pinnacle of the sport for me. If you look at where the game sits around the world, it's probably on a slightly downward trend," he said.
"One nation that can really change things is England, with the tradition of Test cricket here, the fan following. For us to be competitive in Test cricket it can go a long way to shift the perception of Test cricket.
"Certainly in time we can get to number one, challenge for the Ashes and be up there when taking on the best teams in the world. We still have a long way to go."
As New Zealand captain he stamped out sledging and will take a similar approach with England.
"I don't see the need to play in any other way," he said. "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. There will be times that will be a challenge, but hopefully we'll be so invested in trying to achieve our goals we won't be too bothered in the external stuff."
McCullum will ditch England's controversial selection rotation policy from last year and will meet Stuart Broad and James Anderson this weekend before the team begin preparations on Tuesday with their first practice session before the New Zealand Test starts at Lord's on Friday.
He gave the two veterans a boost, backing them to renew their partnership, and suggested they have a "few years" left just months after they were dropped for the tour to West Indies.
Injuries mean both are likely to play in the first Test of the summer next week and McCullum sees them as vital to the regeneration of the side.
"I'm looking forward to working with them. I probably looked at them a few years ago and I thought it was going to be a time where England would have to transition to the next stage," he said.
"But it just shows how tough they are physically and how tough they are mentally and how driven they are to perform.
"I'm looking forward to sitting down with them and chatting about what they want out of the next few years. How do they want to leave the game when the time does eventuate.
"If you do that and you understand your mortality as a cricketer, I think you're then really able to enjoy and really find that sweet spot in the final years of your career.
"Who knows when that time is. I haven't got a definitive date on it. And I'm sure they don't either just yet. But for now, we should enjoy the fact we've got 280 Test matches sitting in our bowling unit and guys have been there and done it before. It'd be great if they were at the forefront of the next kind of development in the side."
McCullum has spoken to predecessors Trevor Bayliss and Andy Flower for advice on the England job and how to approach it as an outsider.
"I've spoken to both Andy and also TB in a little bit of depth about the challenge and what it entails, and both were pretty similar in their views that you've just got to try and take pressure away from the guys," he said.
"Maybe that's the thing with being overseas, you can maybe identify that and go about trying to bring that simplified method in, rather than maybe if you are English, you're probably a little bit more involved in the whole thing throughout.
"I don't know, maybe it's a coincidence, but we'll find out. I might be terrible! I might change all things completely. We'll see how we go."
McCullum will look to boost his backroom team. England have a vacancy for an assistant following the departure of Graham Thorpe after the Ashes and Rob Key, the team director, is keen on building separate coaching staffs for red and white ball cricket.
"I certainly don't coach technically," McCullum said. "I obviously understand technique but for me it's more about tactics and man-management, providing the right environment to make the guys the best versions of themselves."