England’s Test team is on roll in the ongoing cricketing summer. Ever since Brendon McCullum took charge as the head coach, the team has been on a winning spree. The Ben Stokes-led side defeated New Zealand 3-0 and then outclassed the Indians at the Edgbaston, in the rescheduled fifth Test, to draw the 5-match series 2-2.
Under the Stokes-McCullum duo, the team seems to have ushered into a new era where the old conventional style of playing Test cricket has changed completely. The newly-appointed head coach has inflicted a mentality of speeding up things and making the longer format look interesting.
In 3 out of their previous 4 games, England have successfully chased down targets greater than 250. They have batted rapidly as teams do in ODIs or T20Is. The trend of attacking the opposition with the bat has been fondly named ‘Bazball’ which sounds similar to baseball but also carries the nickname of Brendon McCullum who often batted in an attacking fashion during his playing days.
And now, it looks like the English team has also renamed the term ‘Nightwatchman’ in Test cricket. At least, Stuart Broad’s Instagram profile says so. Following the 7-wicket victory in Birmingham, the veteran speedster changed his Instagram profile to ‘Official NightHawk for @englandcricket’.
For years now, the role of a nightwatchman has been full of responsibilities. Whenever a team loses a wicket or gets to bat at the stroke of stumps, they usually send a lower-order batter to stay strong as a wall and save wickets so that the frontline batters could come afresh the next day when needed. But going by England’s current tendency of scoring runs in a Test match, it’s no surprise if they start calling a nightwatchman a ‘nighthawk’.
And captain Stokes also agrees to this change. While addressing a presser, he said, “He might get 30 off 10 balls or 0 from 1. We are looking at every situation we are going to find ourselves in and what the positive thing to do is. For example, we renamed what the nightwatchman is all about. We called it ‘Nighthawk.’ That was Broady. He was going out with half an hour left to play to try to literally slog. That’s where we are at the moment, it’s awesome.”