England’s ‘Bazball’ approach has got in South Africa’s heads, claims Ben Stokes | England v South Africa 2022


Ben Stokes has claimed on the eve of the primary Test towards South Africa that England’s ultra-positive approach to the format – generally often known as “Bazball” – has got into the heads of their opponents, even when the Proteas captain, Dean Elgar, continues to insist is as prone to result in embarrassment as glory.

Elgar had claimed beforehand to have “absolutely no interest in the style that they’ve played”, however in the house dressing room his phrases don’t appear to have been taken at face worth. “I guess the more you talk about something the more it is in your head,” Stokes stated.

“The opposition seem to be doing a lot of talking about it. We just concentrate on what we do.

“At the end of the day, it’s bat against ball, whoever plays best over a Test match is more than likely to win. We don’t dive into it too much, but I’m happy for Dean and the South African team to keep saying they’re not interested but then also keep talking about it.”

South Africa’s preparations for the sequence culminated in an emphatic defeat to an England Lions XI that enthusiastically adopted the first-team approach, a match that delighted one aspect and has been dismissed by the opposite.

“I read absolutely nothing into that warmup game,” Elgar stated on Tuesday. “It was a good exercise for us, and if they come out playing like that in an official Test match and it goes pear-shaped, that’s not going to look very good for England.”

Media/53a02d106870ec1e6fe8b9395b4bcd304bc6145c/0_140_3449_2070/master/3449.jpg?width=620&quality=45&fit=max&dpr=2&s=be1828f156da8fbe92b3de3828aa7c3c” Media=”(min-width: 660px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1.25), (min-width: 660px) and (min-resolution: 120dpi)”/>Media/53a02d106870ec1e6fe8b9395b4bcd304bc6145c/0_140_3449_2070/master/3449.jpg?width=620&quality=85&fit=max&s=04d93092e1c737ec622ed273379e0c4d” Media=”(min-width: 660px)”/>Media/53a02d106870ec1e6fe8b9395b4bcd304bc6145c/0_140_3449_2070/master/3449.jpg?width=605&quality=45&fit=max&dpr=2&s=ade616dd82c9737786565053df1ccdc7″ Media=”(min-width: 480px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1.25), (min-width: 480px) and (min-resolution: 120dpi)”/>Media/53a02d106870ec1e6fe8b9395b4bcd304bc6145c/0_140_3449_2070/master/3449.jpg?width=605&quality=85&fit=max&s=eedad4f940e7be5ec5d93b93c6138620″ Media=”(min-width: 480px)”/>Media/53a02d106870ec1e6fe8b9395b4bcd304bc6145c/0_140_3449_2070/master/3449.jpg?width=445&quality=45&fit=max&dpr=2&s=34bb956bde9d8de3d73e11a6fe04706b” Media=”(min-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1.25), (min-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 120dpi)”/>Media/53a02d106870ec1e6fe8b9395b4bcd304bc6145c/0_140_3449_2070/master/3449.jpg?width=445&quality=85&fit=max&s=edbaeee628b1bb60646ff8f3c5121521″ Media=”(min-width: 320px)”/>South Africa captain Dean Elgar in the nets at Lord’sMedia/53a02d106870ec1e6fe8b9395b4bcd304bc6145c/0_140_3449_2070/master/3449.jpg?width=620&quality=85&fit=max&s=04d93092e1c737ec622ed273379e0c4d” top=”2070″ width=”3449″ loading=”lazy” class=”dcr-4zleql”/>
South Africa captain Dean Elgar in the nets at Lord’s. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

We will quickly discover out what this England aspect would possibly do to South Africa, however one factor they’re unlikely to do is shock them. “It’s probably something a team has never had to plan for before, the way we are approaching our cricket at the moment, because it’s so new and so fresh to the Test format,” Stokes stated.

“But what I will say is they’ve had more time to prepare than New Zealand or India had, because they’ve seen what we’ve done in four games. We won’t look at it like that. The focus is all on us and how we are going to play, combating whatever they have with what we have, in our way.”

South Africa have studied England’s performances throughout their run of 4 successive Test victories this summer season. The conclusion is that theirs is a stronger aspect than these England beforehand confronted, and higher ready for no matter Brendon McCullum’s prices can throw at them.

“One of our biggest strengths as a Test side over this last period has been our awareness to adapt,” stated Elgar, whose staff have received seven of their previous 9 Tests. “I think that is going to be a massive factor for us in this series, especially if England do have a flyer. I know somewhere they are going to have periods in the game when they are on top of us, and we are going to have to find a way to adapt to that situation.

“I think there has been a lot of learnings since watching those series unfold the way they did. I do think we are a smarter side and adaptability is extremely big for me.

“Everyone has a good buy-in with regards to parking their personal stuff; to do what we require to slow down their batting, for instance. I would like to think from a bowling point of view, our bowlers are big, tall, fast and strong buggers.

“I think we come in with a lot more resources. I’m not going to diss the opposition they played against, but I am purely speaking from a South African point of view. I think we have covered all bases and ticked all the boxes in the right kind of angle to curb those moments in the game.”

With rain forecast on Wednesday South Africa will assess circumstances and Kagiso Rabada’s health earlier than naming their XI, whereas England change the aspect that defeated India at Edgbaston final month solely by returning the gloves to Ben Foakes, who missed that sport with covid and replaces Sam Billings.

Having rattled off profitable fourth-innings run chases in all 4 video games up to now this summer season, the one potential novelty will come if they’re pressured to bowl their strategy to victory. “If we’ve got 40 overs to bowl a team out on day five we’ll be doing everything we can to do that,” Stokes stated. “We won’t just stick to the normal things. You’ll see us changing a lot of plans if we feel like something isn’t going to work. We’ll keep the same mindset with the ball as with the bat.”

The Marylebone Cricket Club introduced on Tuesday that, ought to the Lord’s Test attain a fifth day on Sunday, all tickets might be out there for a donation of £5, with proceeds break up between two charities: the Ruth Strauss Foundation and the MCC Foundation. Tickets might be out there at www.lords.org from 2pm on Wednesday.

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