Former England captain Nasser Hussain was critical of the Bazball approach adopted by Ben Stokes's team once again in the ongoing Ashes 2023 against Australia, who won the first Test at Edgbaston by 2 wickets despite the hosts have an upper hand in most of the sessions played.
Hussain feels the main focus of the England team should be to win the remaining four Ashes Tests rather than look to play attacking cricket for the entertainment of the crowds.
England's Bazball approach has been in the limelight for quite some time and drew more attention during the first Test when they declared their first innings after scoring 393/8 on the opening day.
Stokes, McCullum under fire for Bazball approach
Brendon 'Baz' McCullum brought in this strategy when he took over as England coach in 2021 and produced immediate results.
The strategy has worked at home for England so far but it was negated by a gritty Australian team, which fought their way back into the Test match and then managed to snatch victory from England in the final session on Day 5 to stun the hosts.
But questions have started to arise within English and world cricket whether Bazball should be the go-to formula for captain Ben Stokes in the remainder of the Ashes 2023. And Hussain feels England should rethink their plans for the remaining games.
Hussain's reminder for Stokes
"Remember, we've beaten Australia in England since 2001 playing the old-fashioned way. We didn't need 'Bazball' to beat Australia.
"They've got some serious players and some seriously tough players as well. You can't hide behind that (wanting to entertain). England lost in New Zealand as well, if you remember.
" I know they've had Ireland in between, but now they've lost here and there are two games of cricket they could have won, should have won,” Hussain said.
England refuse to back down
Despite the criticism, Stokes and McCullum have clearly stated that the 'Bazball' approach will continue for England in the remaining four Tests.
"A loss is a loss, we said we are going to keep playing this way. This is the way we will continue playing, going hard at Australia, taking certain decisions that feel right," Stokes said after the Edgbaston loss.
“The application to how we want to play right throughout was superb. A couple of things didn't quite go our way at times as well, but that's the nature of the game,” McCullum said.