Over the past year, England’s men’s Test cricket team has undergone a transformation, employing a bold new approach to their game. Dubbed “Bazball,” this new style of play has been a hit with England fans and has been responsible for 10 wins out of 12 matches played, making for some of the most thrilling cricket seen in years.
This new approach is the brainchild of three men: Rob Key, Ben Stokes, and Brendon McCullum. A year ago, England’s Test team was floundering, with just one win in their last 14 matches, and no scores over 300 during the entire Ashes series. Something had to change, and when Key became managing director of the team, he immediately made the bold decision to appoint Stokes as captain.
Stokes had already been a leader in the dressing room for some time. Key believed he was the right person to bring about the change in attitude that was required. Two weeks later, McCullum was brought in as coach. McCullum’s style of play was famous for its aggressive, attacking approach, and he was confident that he and Stokes could transform the team’s fortunes using the same approach.
The new-look England team got off to a flying start with a 3-0 series victory over McCullum’s native New Zealand. However, it was the manner of the victories that really made people sit up and take notice. The aggressive, attacking style of play that had been dubbed “Bazball” was in full effect, with players like Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root batting with the aggression and abandon usually reserved for T20 cricket.
England’s response to their humiliating defeat at Lord’s to South Africa was to simply keep hitting. It worked, and they bounced back with two big victories of their own to take the three-match series 2-1. McCullum was thrilled with what he was seeing from the players, and praised their talent and approach to the game.
The team then travelled to Pakistan, where they secured their first win on that nation’s soil in 22 years. Veterans like James Anderson were loving life as they rolled out their new style of play. After Christmas, they took their show to New Zealand in a two-Test series. Once again, the emphasis was on entertainment, and the first match in Mount Manganui was a brilliant victory for England. The second match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington provided one of the great ends to any Test match, with New Zealand winning by a single run to level the series.
Now, the biggest test for any England team is upon them: can they beat the Australians and win the Ashes? Stokes is excited and confident, having led the team to 10 wins from 12 matches. He knows that negativity won’t get them anywhere, and he is determined to keep doing what has worked for them so far.
The “Bazball” approach to cricket has taken the sporting world by storm, and England fans are fully behind their team’s new style of play. They have watched their team transform from a struggling side to one of the most entertaining and successful teams in the sport. The Ashes series will be the ultimate test of their abilities, but if they can put on a similar display of attacking cricket as they have over the past year, they will have every chance of beating their rivals and reclaiming the Ashes. So, keep an eye on this thrilling team as they continue to entertain and make their mark in the world of cricket.