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‘Bazball’ Ashes, The Ultimate Test For England

The champions of the ‘Bazball’ brand of cricket — the England captain Ben Stokes and the country’s New Zealand coach Brendon McCullum — have every reason to be pleased and proud that their mindset to take Test match cricket forward boldly and bravely has found admirers. Baz is the nickname of McCullum, and hence the term coined by the media to describe the style of playing the game most forcefully, notwithstanding the situation at any given time. McCullum, who believed in going after the ball while playing for New Zealand–  taking risks — brought about a remarkable transformation in England’s Test team’s outlook, taking over from Chris Silverwood in the three-match home Test series against New Zealand in June 2022. England’s 22 batsmen have scored at 4.61 runs an over in 13 Tests, and its 14 bowlers have conceded  3.21 runs in 2129.1 overs before the start of the ‘Ashes’ that has been given a riveting start in the first Test at Edgbaston. The Stokes and McCullum team has won 11 and lost one to South Africa and New Zealand. The ongoing ‘Ashes’ is the first under the ‘Bazball’ variety and hence seen as the ultimate Test series because Australia has not won a series in England for 22 years. Someone like the former Australian captain Ian Chappell asks what’s new about “Bazball”, but the former South African captain Ali Bacher says Stokes and McCullum will keep Test match cricket alive!