England to continue with Bazball despite three days of strike by South Africa

Captain Ben Stokes and manager Brendon McCullum have vowed to persist with England’s new attacking approach despite a heavy set defeat in the first Test against South Africa.

The New England skipper and manager has taken an aggressive approach to the Test arena, nicknamed ‘Bazball’, chasing impressive goals to win games against New Zealand and India over the past two months with a stick and a sword bowling.

But they were emphatically beaten by an innings and 12 runs at Lord’s in the first of a three Test series, as South African bowlers reigned supreme on Friday, beating England for 165 and 149.

Stokes, however, said there would be no changes when the second Test begins at Old Trafford next Thursday.

“Absolutely not. You know, I look at captains before me and they were always criticized at times on how they wanted to play, and that’s part and parcel of the job,” he said.

“We know well that when we play with the abilities that we are capable of, we can go out and put in an incredible performance, as everyone has seen in the previous four games.

“It’s absolutely not a wake up call or anything like that. It’s just a shame that we’re unable to execute the way we want to play this week,” Stokes said.

McCullum echoed the captain, dismissing the suggestion that the England batsmen might have been too cavalier against a strong bowling team.

“I don’t think so. I think maybe they were a bit shy. We approach the game with a clear mentality about how we want to play and we want to be the best versions of ourselves. It’s not going to work always,” he said.

“As we said at the time, you have to buckle up for the ride. It’s not pleasant at times like this but we will come back strong, ”insisted the former New Zealand drummer.

“I think we weren’t quite capable of attacking when the opportunity presented itself. Then we had a few bullets that got rid of some of our best players. It’s cricket. If you have a winner, you are going to have a loser, and South Africa deserved to win.


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