England men’s cricket team managing director Rob Key believes people should not be using the term ‘Bazball’ to signify the resurgence of the England Test side under new coach Brendon (Baz) McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes, saying it devalues the team’s achievements.
Following England’s four successive Test victories with McCullum and Stokes at the helm, where they have chased down some amazing scores including the record 378-run chase effected against India in the rescheduled fifth game at Edgbaston, the term ‘Bazball’ is being openly used to describe the side’s positive and attacking style of play.
But Key said the resurgence was not simply about playing bold shots as the team was also soaking up a lot of pressure.
“I’m not mad on ‘Bazball’. It’s not our term and it devalues a little bit what those guys have done, and those two (Stokes and McCullum) in particular. It’s not about going out there and just looking to play shots. I don’t think Joe Root has gone out there and just looked to play shots. They have soaked up pressure as well. It doesn’t mean that you can only play in the Test team if you’re someone who is going to play a shot a ball. That’s not what it is about,” Key was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
Middle-order batter Jonny Bairstow has emerged as the face of England’s Test resurgence with the 32-year-old currently the leading run-scorer in the longest format of the game this year. He has made 994 runs in eight matches at an average of 76.46, including six centuries and a fifty.
“I loved the fact that it seemed to capture the imagination of the public. That was not part of the plan, but Stokes and McCullum have somehow managed to do that,” he said.”The way the Test series went was really pleasing. I never thought it would go like that, you just have your views on the way you want to do things and the people you want to bring in, like Brendon (McCullum) obviously. I just loved the way they went about it.”