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Steve Smith mocks England’s Test cricket Bazball revolution

  • July 06, 2022
Ben Stokes has led England to four successive Test wins over New Zealand and India (Picture: Getty)

Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith has queried whether England’s new attacking approach is ‘sustainable’.

Smith was overheard by reporters shouting ‘Bazball!’ after striking a powerful shot in net practice ahead of his side’s Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle.

That is a phrase that has been used to describe the relentlessly positive approach England have adopted this summer under the leadership of Brendon McCullum, whose nickname is ‘Baz’, and Ben Stokes.

Australia are preparing for a Test in Sri Lanka (Picture: Getty)

Smith has clearly being keeping a sceptical eye on his country’s Ashes rivals, who were hammered 4-0 Down Under last winter but have won their last four games and chased down a record 378 against India this week.

‘The guys just keep joking about it – I think Ronnie (head coach Andrew McDonald) has had enough of hearing about Bazball to be honest – it’s good fun to joke about,’ said Smith, according to

‘It’s been exciting. I’m just intrigued to see how long it lasts, if it’s sustainable. If you come in on a wicket that’s got some grass on it and Josh Hazlewood, (Pat) Cummins and (Mitchell) Starc are rolling in at you, is it going to be the same?

‘I’m intrigued by it all. Is it going to work every time? I don’t know.’

Stokes, meanwhile, has revealed how ‘the nighthawk’ exemplifies England’s mission to change the game.

Over the course of four successive victories and a quartet of remarkable chases they have attacked at every turn and delivered on their promises to challenge the conventions of their sport.

England were looking at a heavy defeat when Edgbaston matchwinners Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow came to together on the fourth evening, but Stokes revealed he was busy hatching an unlikely contingency plan.

Had either of the in-form duo been dismissed late in the day, he was preparing to send Stuart Broad to swing with abandon – subverting the traditional tactic of promoting a tail-ender to block.

‘We are looking at every situation we find ourselves in and asking what the positive thing to do is, for example, we’ve renamed what the nightwatchman is all about,’ he explained.

‘We’ve called it ‘nighthawk’. That was Broady. He was going to go out with half-an-hour left to play to try to literally slog. That’s where we are at the moment, it’s awesome.’

MORE : Ben Stokes hails ‘phenomenal’ Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow as England thrash India

MORE : England cricket fans can buckle up for thrilling ride of a bold new era under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum

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