England Test cricket – Brendon McCullum ‘I don’t really like that silly term Bazball’

England Test cricket - Brendon McCullum 'I don't really like that silly term Bazball'

Brendon McCullum, England’s Test coach, has said that he has no idea what ‘Bazball’ means and suggested that the phrase has missed the nuances of his side’s new approach.

‘Bazball’ was termed by Andrew Miller, ESPNcricinfo’s UK editor, on an episode of the Switch Hit podcast recorded before the start of England’s series against New Zealand last month to describe the positive style of play that McCullum’s old side had adopted under his captaincy.

“I don’t have any idea what ‘Bazball’ is,” McCullum told SEN radio’s WA Breakfast show. “It’s not just all crash and burn, if you look at the approach, and that’s why I don’t really like that silly term that people are throwing out there.

“Because there’s actually quite a bit of thought that goes into how the guys manufacture their performances and when they put pressure on bowlers and which bowlers they put pressure on. There’s also times where they’ve absorbed pressure beautifully as well.”

McCullum was asked by host Adam Gilchrist whether he felt as though England’s ultra-attacking style had “changed the landscape” of Test cricket, a suggestion which he denied. “I certainly wouldn’t say that,” he said.

“All we try and do is play a brand of cricket which gives the guys the greatest amount of satisfaction and gives them the best opportunity. We’ve also got an obligation to entertain.

“It’s been a challenging period for those who love the game of Test cricket because society has changed and people don’t necessarily have five days to sit down and watch cricket anymore, so we need to make sure that the product that we’ve got and the product that we’re taking to the people is worthy of their time and is able to captivate some of those imaginations.

“So that’s one of the fundamental reasons why the guys are wanting to play this style of cricket and it seems to really resonate with them as well. From my point of view as a coach, it certainly resonates with me because it’s how I like to see the game played, and the same as the skipper [Ben Stokes].”

McCullum added that one of the key tenets of England’s success had been their ability to “block out” the “external noise” generated by the British media.

“The media over here, it is a huge beast and sometimes the negative and the positive can seep into an environment,” he said. “One thing we’ve tried to do is just be totally honest with one another and try and block some of that external stuff out and quieten down some of that noise. I think that’s helped.”

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