‘Is it going to work every time? I don’t know’: Steve Smith casts doubt over the ‘sustainability’ of ‘Bazball’ as Australian stars keep a watchful eye on Brendon McCullum’s new-look England ahead of next year’s Ashes series
- Steve Smith has expressed doubt over the sustainability of England’s ‘Bazball’
- England’s new no-fear approach has seen them win all four Tests this summer
- Smith branded the style of play as ‘exciting’ as Australia prepare for Sri Lanka
- But he fears the approach may not be feasible in the long-term for England
Steve Smith has expressed doubts over the sustainability of England’s ‘exciting’ new brand of cricket, with the Australia squad watching on from afar ahead of next year’s Ashes series.
After a horrendous tour Down Under which saw England embarrassed in a 4-0 series defeat, the ECB made wholesale changes from top to bottom, recruiting Brendon McCullum as new coach and instilling Ben Stokes as captain.
What has followed has been a brand of cricket that fans have been crying out for. Termed as ‘Bazball’, England have shown a positivity and fearlessness that has been sorely missed in recent years.
Steve Smith has had his say on England’s ‘exciting’ new brand of cricket adopted this summer
England’s brave approach has seen them win all four of their Test matches this summer, beating New Zealand in their three-Test series, as well as staging a mammoth fourth innings chase to beat India at Edgbaston.
And while Smith has conceded that England’s new approach is ‘exciting’ he has cast doubt as to whether the no-holds-barred tactic will bear fruit in the long run.
‘It’s been exciting, I’m just intrigued to see how long it lasts, if it’s sustainable,’ Smith said via The Sydney Morning Herald.
Ben Stokes’ side has won all four of its Test matches owing to a positive, vibrant style of play
However, the approach – known as ‘Bazball’ after coach Brendon McCullum – has been questioned by former Australia captain Steve Smith
‘If you come on a wicket that’s got some grass on it and Josh Hazlewood, Cummins and Starc are rolling in at you, is it going to be the same? We’ll see what happens.
‘I think you saw the last Test against England, the pink ball game in Hobart, when ‘Heady’ and Marnus started to take the game on, the wicket was doing plenty, so it was a counteract, put the pressure back on the bowler mentality, and it worked on that occasion. Is it going to work every time? I don’t know.’
Smith admitted that the Australia squad watched the conclusion of the India Test this week, with the side preparing for their second Test match against Sri Lanka on Thursday, although coach Andrew McDonald has grown fed up of ‘hearing about Bazball’.
Australia are keeping a watchful eye on England ahead of next year’s Ashes series
‘Guys just keep joking about it – I think Ronnie [McDonald] has had enough of hearing about Bazball to be honest, it’s good fun to joke about,’ Smith added.
‘I’ve watched a little bit of it, it’s certainly been entertaining, they’re coming out playing their shots. Even someone like Alex Lees started to come down the wicket when he was on nothing really, to play the way he played.
‘We went at good pace in the first Test, if you were sitting there not playing your shots or looking to score, you were probably going to get out eventually. So it was “get them before they get us”.’
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