England Test team’s head coach Brendon McCullum had a rather straightfoward response to a headline claiming that ‘Bazball’ – a name given to England’s aggressive style of play under McCullum’s regime in the longest format – won’t work in Pakistan. Under the new leadership duo of McCullum and Ben Stokes, England produced an aggressive brand of Test cricket, defeating New Zealand 3-0 in the home series before beating India in the rescheduled fifth Test in Edgbaston.
In August, England defeated South Africa 2-1 in the three-match home series; however, the tour of Pakistan will be the side’s first away assignment under the McCullum-Stokes regime. However, the former New Zealand captain insisted that England will continue on their positive approach throughout the series against Pakistan.
“We will find out!” McCullum told former England captain Michael Atherton for an interview for Sky Sports Cricket, when the latter recalled a headline that said, ‘Bazball won’t work in Pakistan’.
“The style we want to play is positive. We feel it’s an obligation we have to ensure we entertain those on TV and those who want to watch Test cricket. We need to captivate them. That’s why we want to play the style the skipper has lead the side with.”
McCullum admitted that there might be some changes considering the different conditions in Pakistan, but stated that England will take the field with a positive mindset.
“There might be some subtleties and nuances, but it overall remains the same. When the game is on the line, remain positive. Take your chances. If you’re beat, you’re beat. Be positive, be aggressive. if Pakistan is good enough to beat us in those moments, then you shake hands, you move on. You have smile on your face and you know you need to get better. But at least you bring the game you wanted to play, and that gives you satisfaction,” said the head coach.
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