England Test skipper Ben Stokes said on Tuesday that the team’s attacking mindset will not change when his side takes to the field in the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s on Wednesday. This comes after South African skipper Dean Elgar commented on England’s ‘Bazball’ approach to Tests, saying, “I do not see that there is longevity in brave cricket”. Under Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, England have won four consecutive Tests this summer, defeating New Zealand in a three-match series and chasing 275-plus scores in all matches. Then they downed India by chasing a record 378 runs.
But Stokes, eager to see “venom” in his side’s approach has said that England’s style would not change in face of comments made by Elgar.
“The opposition seems to be doing a lot of the talking at the moment about it. We just concentrate on what we do. We have got a style of play, they have got a style of play. At the end of the day, it is bat against ball and whoever plays best over a Test match is most likely to win,” Sky Sports quoted Stokes as saying.
“I am happy for Dean and the South African team to keep saying they are not interested but also keep talking about it. For me, it is just about reiterating the points that we were making at the start of the summer – our mindset, attitude and everything like that – about how we go out and play our cricket. Personally, I think that’s the most important thing at the moment for this team. Believing in what we speak in the changing room, going out there and trying to deliver on what we say,” he added.
Stokes said “it has felt like we have been a really long time away from each other – obviously there has been a lot of different cricket, different formats played – so there is a real excitement for me to get back in there, see everybody, and reminding everybody about what we’ve achieved and sticking to our guns.”
“It is about making sure that a five-week period does not mean we have lost our venom. It would be easy to have so long away to almost forget the place we managed to find ourselves in.”
“The results will look after themselves. If we play to the standard that we have done over the last four Test matches, we know we’re going to give ourselves a great opportunity of winning the game.”
The first Test between England and South Africa will go on till August 21. The second Test will take place from August 25.
The third and final Test of the series will take place from September 8.
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