Brendon McCullum finds ‘Bazball’, the playful term coined to honor his influence as Test’s new head coach, downright ‘stupid’.
Taking charge of a failed test squad, McCullum and captain Ben Stokes have transformed England’s fate, with a bolder approach that has led them to three wins over New Zealand and one over India.
On each occasion, England have overhauled more than 275 goals in the fourth innings with relative ease, while chasing a record 378 with seven wickets left against India earlier this week.
While positivity was a central theme in the embryonic stages of McCullum’s era—nicknamed Baz—the former New Zealand skipper insisted there were deeper levels of pragmatism involved.
“That’s why I don’t like that silly term people use there,” McCullum said on SEN Radio.
“Because there’s actually quite a bit of thought going into how the guys make their appearances and when they pressure bowlers and which bowlers they pressure.
“There are also times when they’ve absorbed the pressure beautifully as well.”
Former Australia captain Steve Smith questioned this week whether England’s momentum is sustainable and was overheard by reporters shouting ‘Bazball’ in net practice ahead of a test against Sri Lanka.
While McCullum was overjoyed with how the early part of his reign has gone, he knows there are tough tests ahead, with South Africa touring later this summer, while Australia will be in England to contest the next Ashes series in 12 months. .
“I certainly wouldn’t say we’ve changed the face (of Test cricket),” McCullum added.
“All we try and do is play the kind of cricket that gives the boys the most satisfaction and gives them the best chances. We also have an obligation to entertain.
“It’s been a great month (but) we know there are big challenges to come, including the Aussie guys, but we just have to keep doing what we’re doing.
“Australia is a different kind of challenge because of the Ashes’ history and the rivalry that exists there.
“I’m sure our guys will try to still keep a really positive approach. I think the real key isn’t just the crash and burn when we look at how the guys have done it.”