'It's probably the way that red-ball cricket is going' - Mark Boucher on England's Bazball style of playing

"The conditions have allowed for England to play that way," said Mark Boucher.

Mark Boucher
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Mark Boucher. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

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South African head coach Mark Boucher reckons that England’s new way to play Test cricket is not surprising and believes it will be the way red-ball cricket is going to be played. England, under the new management of Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, totally dominated New Zealand in the three-match Test series last month. They managed to chase down a 275-plus run target in all three matches with ease and at an impressive strike rate. England also won the rescheduled fifth Test match against India after successfully chasing the record 378-run target.

But all these four wins came at home and England had to bowl first. Boucher has pointed out that there will be times when the conditions won’t allow them to play with this new approach. South Africa are scheduled to face high-flying England in the three-match Test series next month and Boucher thinks they are ready for this Test.

“It’s probably the way that red-ball cricket is going. If you look at the introduction of T20 cricket, the run rates have increased in red-ball cricket. There are going to be times when the conditions don’t allow you to play that way but if the conditions allow you to play that way. I’m sure that you’re going to see batting line-ups try and put bowlers under pressure,” Mark Boucher said on ESPNCricinfo.

“The conditions have allowed for England to play that way. That’s just about being smart and assessing conditions on the day. If you see a moment to really put the hammer down, we’ve seen how it can pay off, as England have shown us. I do think Test cricket is going that way.”

Brendon McCullum wanted to have this really aggressive style of play: Mark Boucher

England’s overall run rate of 4.54 against New Zealand was the new world record for the highest run rate in a Test series consisting of three or more matches. This new style of play is termed Bazball from the English media, after McCullum’s nickname ‘Baz’. Boucher has revealed that McCullum always wanted an aggressive style of play from the players and it’s really exciting to watch.

“We know how Brendon played and we’ve heard the conversations around him when he was coach of KKR [Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL] as well that he wanted to have this really aggressive style of play. It’s exciting to watch. I watched a lot of those games and England did really well,” he added.