Former England captain Michael Vaughan expressed his admiration for numerous England players’ ability to rapidly adapt to the attitude instilled by new captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.
England cruised to a 7-wicket victory while chasing India’s record target of 378, thanks to centuries from men-in-form Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, but they also had strong contributions at the top from Zac Crawley and Alex Lees, who scored his second Test half-century and looked solid at the crease until he was run out.
Vaughan was questioned on Cricbuzz by Harsha Bhogle about how England has found success with this new style of play, and why India was so ineffective with the ball during the run-chase. Vaughan attributed it partly to every player’s desire to buy into McCullum’s style, regardless of how they played previously.
Players Who Were Batting Like Geoffrey Boycott Have Started To Play Fearless Cricket: Michael Vaughan
“You make some good points about this fearless way of playing. You play against any sporting team that doesn’t care about losing — they are hard to play against. It’s a nightmare, cause this mentality keeps coming at you, players keep being aggressive,” said Vaughan.
“Players like Alex Lees, who only 6 weeks ago was batting like Geoffrey Boycott — I’m not having a go at Geoffrey but he wanted to bat for long periods of time and work their magic over many, many hours of batting for a 100.
“Alex Lees has come out batting aggressively, he’s only averaging 24 but you can see the mentality change in him,” added Vaughan.
“You’re arriving every day and you’re looking at an opposing team and the opposing balcony, where they’re all smiling, all laughing, all got their shades on.
“Slapping each other on the back of their heads, saying go out there and have some fun, have fun, doesn’t matter if you get out doing so.
“It’s a very hard mentality to play against, and you’re right, I think India probably feared that probably spread the field too soon, they started to worry about the boundaries rather than thinking right, we’ve got to get them out,” Vaughan concluded.
By winning the last game England retained the Pataudi Trophy.