The English have been flying in tests for the past few days. Coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes are changing the nature of the Test game together, many think. But this time England’s baseball is facing a big test. The Three Lions face the Proteas in a three-match Test series. South Africa at the top of the World Test Championship points table are threatening to make baseball obsolete.
The hosts England and South Africa will meet in the first Test of the series on Wednesday (August 17). The match will be played at Lord’s at 4 pm Bangladesh time.
- The Three Lions are having a great time in white. The English, who forgot to win a few days ago, beat New Zealand and India, and the English have won four matches in a row. Many see the achievement of Brendon McCullum behind this change of the English. England has ushered in a new era in Test cricket under this former attacking batsman from New Zealand. The English are playing a special cricket called baseball. Attack is the last word of cricket. Attacks to demoralize the opponent, attacks to provoke the opponent. Having never compromised on attacking batting during his playing career, McCullum has retained the philosophy he instilled in Joe Root-Bairstow as a coach. And Ben Stokes in the role of leader is just like his mind.
- Ben Stokes’ team is hosting South Africa in that vein. Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow are in great rhythm. Jack Crowley, Alex Less, Ollie Popra are burning in the team’s needs. But still the English batting lineup is too dependent on Joe Root and Bairstow like many.
- Broad with the ball though, the Andersons. Anderson, who crossed 40 last month, is still formidable in English conditions. He has Broad as his partner to make the opponent blue with the poison of the swing. Anderson, known as ‘Burnley Lara’, has taken 657 wickets in 172 Tests in the last two decades. Jimmy, the holder of the highest wickets as a pacer in Test cricket, has a chance to enrich his wicket tally and get closer to touching the legendary Warne. Warne, who passed away in March this year,
is the second highest wicket-taker in the history of Test cricket with 708 wickets in 145 Tests.
Stokes is talking about maintaining the continuity of playing aggressive cricket. South Africa is also ready with their strategy. Won 3 Tests in last 5 matches. Dean Elgar, Markram, Dusen are having a great time. If Rabada, Maharaj, Ngidi are on fire, it will be a tough fight in the match.
However, before the start of the match, the two teams got involved in a verbal fight. Proteas coach Mark Boucher started. A few days ago, he expressed doubts about the effectiveness of baseball. Captain Dean Elgar also echoed his words. He thinks, in the long run, ‘buzzball’ can cause damage to the English. He said, ‘England’s new strategy is exciting. But I don’t see its future. Because, in Test cricket, many things are lost with time.’
English captain Ben Stokes, however, does not pay attention to these words. He directly informed that his team is planning to ban baseball at Lord’s. He said, ‘It seems that the opponent is talking a lot about aggressive tactics. But we are only focusing on our game. We have our own style of play, so do they. At the end of the day it is a battle of bat balls, the one who plays well in this battle has more chances to win. I am happy to think that Dean Elgar and his team are not interested in ‘buzzball’ but are still talking about this technique.’
Stokes gave the punch in the right language!