England to plough on with Bazball despite three day thumping by South Africa



Captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum have promised to persist with England’s new attacking approach despite being handed a heavy innings defeat in the first Test against South Africa.

The new England skipper and coach have adopted an aggressive approach to the Test arena, dubbed “Bazball”, chasing down impressive targets to win matches against New Zealand and India in the last two months with swashbuckling batting and bowling.

But they were emphatically thumped by an innings and 12 runs at Lord’s in the first of a three-Test series, as South Africa’s bowlers ruled supreme on Friday, bowling out England for 165 and 149.

Stokes, however, said there would be no change when the second Test starts at Old Trafford next Thursday.

“Absolutely not. You know, I look at captains before me and they were always going to get criticised at times about the way that they wanted to play, and that’s just part and parcel of the job,” he said.

“We know well that when we perform to the capabilities that we’re capable of, then we can go out and put on an incredible performance, like everybody’s seen in the four games before.

“This is absolutely not a wake-up call or anything like that. It was just unfortunate we’re unable to execute in the way that we want to play this week,” said Stokes.

McCullum echoed the captain, rejecting the suggestion that the England batsmen might have been too cavalier against a strong bowling line-up.

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“I don’t think so. I think they were perhaps a touch timid. We approach the game with a clear mentality about the way we want to play and we want to be the best versions of ourself. It’s not always going to work,” he said.

“As we said at the time, you’ve got to buckle up for the ride. It’s not nice at times like this but we’ll come back strong,” insisted the former New Zealand batsman.

“I think we weren’t quite able to attack when the opportunity presented itself. Then we got a couple of balls that got rid of a couple of our best players. That’s cricket. If you have a winner, you’re going to have a loser, and South Africa deserved to win.” 

© AAP

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