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