“I love the positivity. But it’s just this series, in particular, that I still need to get my head around. I actually walked up to McCullum on Saturday and said, ‘Please explain this to me because I don’t understand it’. 

I have done that my whole career. I gave you a spray in Australia in 2006. I was like, ‘Dude what are you saying and why are you saying this?'" Pietersen said in an interaction with former England captain Nasser Hussain, as quoted by Daily Mail.

McCullum clarified that he would have never declared 

"We are at a time where Test cricket needs something to turn itself around because there is so much competition. But I am answering this slowly because I am still not 100 percent sure… No, I would never have declared. Because against Australia, first day of the Ashes, 393, thinking you’ve got enough on a flat wicket," he added.

Just before the end of the day's play, Stokes made the decision to declare the innings, leaving approximately 20 minutes remaining. Despite the subsequent defeat, both Stokes and McCullum staunchly defended their choice. The English captain clarified that the intention behind the declaration was to seek a breakthrough before the close of the day's play.