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Ashes 2023: Bazball will continue, insists England skipper Ben Stokes

Updated on: 15 June,2023 07:28 AM IST  |  London

Skipper Ben Stokes insists England won’t change their aggressive playing style; Oz great Steve Waugh asks what if it fails

Ashes 2023: Bazball will continue, insists England skipper Ben Stokes

England skipper Ben Stokes during practice at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Tuesday. Pic/Getty Images

Can England regain the Ashes playing their ultra-aggressive “Bazball” brand of cricket or will they come unstuck against battle-hardened Australia? The answer will come over the coming weeks, starting with the first Test of a hotly anticipated five-match series at Edgbaston on Friday. England have forced the rest of the world to sit up and take notice, with 11 wins in 13 Tests since captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum joined forces last year. 

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh

England had won just one out of 17 Tests before newly appointed English cricket chief Rob Key brought McCullum and Stokes together to oversee a dynamic revamp of their long format game dubbed “Bazball”, in reference to the nickname of former New Zealand captain McCullum. And all-rounder Stokes is adamant he has no intention of altering his approach. “Nothing is going to change because we’ve had unbelievable success with it,” the 32-year-old told the BBC. “If we were to change anything from the last 12 months because we find ourselves in an Ashes series then anything from the last 12 months will have been completely pointless.”

But doubts persist as to whether their policy of all-out attack can work against arch-rivals Australia, who only last week hammered India by 209 runs at The Oval to win the World Test Championship final. Steve Waugh, the last Australia captain to win an Ashes series in England, back in 2001, is not alone in questioning whether Stokes’s side have an alternative plan. “Have they got a Plan B?” Waugh said to the Australian media. “They have shown they are good enough to carry this style of cricket off but the ultimate test will be against a world-class bowling attack, which Australia has got.”

Also Read: England favours experienced Broad over Wood for opening Ashes Test against Australia

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