The completion of England’s 3-0 win streak over Pakistan on Tuesday was the latest chapter in a remarkable, all the more extraordinary resurgence to the red ball’s pre-episode streak of poor results. Bazball’. Causing the first whitewash Pakistan suffered in Test history, thanks to an eight-game win in Karachi on Tuesday, it was impressive enough in itself. It also gave England its ninth win in 10 matches at this level, with Test world champions New Zealand, India and South Africa also among those to be beaten, since when the captain Ben Stokes and the coach Brendon McCullum take the job in May.
When they joined forces, however, England only won one of their 17 previous Tests.
So how to explain the spectacular rotation?
The answer began in April, when the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) appointed Rob Key, a former English pitcher with a modest Test record, as their new cricket director. .
The 43-year-old, formerly a television pundit, has since repeatedly seen his conviction vindicated.
As captain of New Zealand, McCullum provided the template for England’s resurgence in over-50s cricket that culminated in their 2019 World Cup final victory.
Key backed him to have a similar impact on the Test faction when he appointed him as a long-term replacement as coach for Chris Silverwood was sacked after England beat Australia 4-0.
All-round star Stokes, 31, shortly after a mental breakdown, replaced his close friend Original Joe as England captain, with the stellar tennis player exhausted from leading a team that lost the competition under severe Covid restrictions.
‘Get ready for the ride’
Many observers have noted the performance of England’s all-around athletes Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff went downhill during their unsuccessful time as Test captains.
However, Key, preferring his opinion to the weight of history, said: “I have faith in Brendon and Ben Stokes… It’s time we all buckle up and get ready. for the trip.”
And what a trip to date, with Stokes and McCullum taking advantage of the laid-back mood created at the end of a ‘bubble’ life.
In the new environment, players are encouraged to enjoy cricket and not be afraid of failure.
England’s offensive approach, dubbed ‘Bazball’ in honor of McCullum’s nickname, although he dislikes the term, is based on aggressive running scoring that allows athletes to pitch time to make the 20 shots needed to win the Quiz.
McCullum has realized the advances in scoring beyond the limit — shown in England’s recent T20 World Cup victory under white-ball coach Matthew Mott — can be applied to Test cricket.
The extended range of that stroke, combined with the classic approach, made England the first team to hit 500 runs on the first day of the Test when Zak Crawleyrising star Harry Brook and Ollie Pope, as well as Ben Duckettall made hundreds in the opening match of the Pakistan series in Rawalpindi.
England’s new attitude is also evident in Stokes’ willingness to risk losing a game to win.
At Rawalpindi, Stokes’ bold claim that Pakistan needed 343 points to win over four innings, was rewarded with victory just before bad lighting threatened to end the game.
England’s willingness to challenge their traditional conservatism was also evident when the 18-year-old turned his leg. Rehan Ahmed became the youngest Test debutant from any country to win 5 championships in a single play in the Karachi finale.
Has England changed Test cricket? Probably not but the former captain Michael Athertonnote that England’s approach has now met with skepticism at every turn, writing in The Times on Tuesday that Stokes’ men won Pakistan by “playing with more vitality and attacking intent than any England team, to be sure, has ever done.”
For some, the acid challenge is still next year’s Ashes series at home to arch-rivals Australia.
Stokes admits that the win makes it easier for England to “enjoy” themselves and is doing their best to eliminate doubts.
“The real test comes when things don’t go so well,” he said. “And that will be the time to turn that (enjoyment) into something even more for us to bring out there. But I hope we don’t get to that point.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from an aggregated feed.)
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