So great was the rapid overhaul of the attitude of English batters, a new term was coined to describe it. Bazball.
But despite his influence becoming blaringly obvious, an English star has revealed former New Zealand batting whiz turned England coach Brendon McCullum hates the term.
Last Thursday, England batters went full Bazball, scoring an eye-watering 506 runs on day one of their first Test against Pakistan at Rawalpindi.
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It’s the highest single-day score since 2002, and the fifth highest on record.
Four of England’s top five batters scored centuries, with Zak Crawley belting the fastest ever century for an English opener. His opening partner Ben Duckett scored 107 off 110. Their opening partnership was 233 at more than six an over.
First drop Ollie Pope blasted 108 off 104, while Harry Brook plundered 153 off 116.
The term ‘Bazball’ was coined earlier this year when English batters began displaying more aggressive attitudes after McCullum took over as coach in May. His captain Ben Stokes is also aggressive with the willow in hand.
A perfect example came in England’s second innings. As Pakistan looked to tighten the screws, former skipper Joe Root faced up to leg spinner Zahid Mahmood left-handed, in an attempt to more easily sweep.
He did indeed sweep – what would normally have been a reverse sweep – the first ball, was lucky to not be caught at mid-wicket – formerly cover.
Assistant coach Paul Collingwood said after stumps it was something Root had tried in the nets, but it was the first time he’d seen him try it during a match.
English T20 gun Sam Billings said McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes had “changed the mindset” of the English line-up.
“He (McCullum) hates that term,” Billings told foxsports.com.au.
“It’s amazing … it is change of mindset, you have the same players, literally have the same players.
“It’s not rash, it is controlled aggression, which Baz McCullum and Ben Stokes, they are the perfect examples of that.
“It’s a real blend of confidence … keep moving the game forward, keep taking the positive option.
“It fits into modern day cricket, let’s be honest the last 10 or 15 years, that is the way cricket has gone, it’s not asking people to do anything they aren’t capable of doing.”
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