After losing the Ashes and the West Indies series last year, the English team was in shambles, having won only one of their last 17 Test matches. England went into their home Test summer with a new captain and coach.
English all rounder Ben Stokes was named captain, while Brendon McCullum took over as red-ball coach. Since then, the English team has whitewashed the World Test Championship winners, defeated India to level the series at 2-2, and won the three-match series against South Africa. England adopted a more positive and aggressive style of play that has been called ‘Bazball’.
Ben Stokes Is A Very Positive, Aggressive Player – Glenn McGrath
Legendary Australian pacer Glenn McGrath has hailed England’s new approach to Test cricket led by Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, saying it’s the way everyone should play. In an exclusive interview with Mirror Sport, McGrath saw parallels between England’s new approach and the legendary Australian team he played for.
“To me, that’s the way everyone should play cricket. When you’ve got a team that goes out there and backs themselves, they play without fear and it’s amazing what you can achieve. With Brendon McCullum coming in, I think he’s definitely bought that attitude,” he said.
“Ben Stokes coming on as captain, he’s a very positive, aggressive player anyway so I think the combination of Baz and Stokesey saying ‘going out there and back yourself’ is brilliant. When you’re winning it’s great, if you go out there and you lose a couple of games and lose them badly it can get a bit ugly,” he added.
“I think Joe Root can just go out and play [now he’s no longer captain] and I think there’s been a lot of positives there for England. The team I was lucky enough to play in, we just backed ourselves and played without fear. I think T20, if it’s brought anything to cricket is players, especially batsman, have to go out there and play without fear and that’s moved up through ODIs to Test cricket and they’re starting to play that way.”
I’m Going To Say 5-0 Australia – Glenn McGrath
McGrath is excited to see how England performs against Australia in next year’s Ashes, which he believes will be a very good series. He predicted that Australia would whitewash England.
“I was going to go out on a limb and say something different,” he joked. “I think if I say anything else people will think something’s wrong with me! So I’m going to say 5-0 Australia, they’re going to go out there and dominate again,” he concluded.