Australian Test batter Steve Smith has revealed his take on England's 'Bazball' approach in Test cricket that has helped them win four Tests on the trot. Smith, who has made a truckload of Test runs against England, doubts the approach's sustainability.
'Bazball' is a term coined after England's new Test coach Brendon McCullum after he took charge and inculcated an aggressive brand of cricket in the format. It aims to score runs quickly in Test cricket and is designed to win matches instead of drawing them.
Smith, who is currently in Sri Lanka for the two-Test series, revealed that the Australian team has shared plenty of jokes regarding that term. However, the 33-year old feels it may not work against world-class seamers on a green wicket.
The New South Wales batter stated, as quoted by cricket.com.au:
"Guys just keep joking about it – I think Ronnie [Aus coach Andrew McDonald] has had enough of hearing about 'Baz-ball' to be honest – it's good fun to joke about.
"It's been exciting. I'm just intrigued to see how long it lasts, if it's sustainable. If you come in on a wicket that's got some grass on it and Josh Hazlewood, Cummins and Starc are rolling in at you, is it going to be the same? I'm intrigued by it all. Is it going to work every time? I don't know."
England's brave new approach to Test cricket has yielded them four wins while chasing totals over 250, three of which came against New Zealand. Ben Stokes & co. chased down 277, 296, and 299 easily. They also gunned down 378 against India at Edgbaston with seven wickets to spare to level the five-Test series.
"We went at good pace in the first Test" - Steve Smith on Australia's ten-wicket win against Sri Lanka
Smith believes Australia's proactive approach against Sri Lanka at Galle in the first Test was crucial as teams can lose wickets quickly on such tracks. The right-handed batter spoke about his run-out after a mix-up with Usman Khawaja but insisted he moved on quickly from that.
"We went at good pace in the first Test – if you were sitting there not playing your shots or looking to score, you were probably going to get out eventually. I hate getting run out. I think anyone does, particularly given the conditions and just gifting them a wicket, one of the most experienced players. I was pretty upset.
"That happens in the game, I got over it pretty quickly, had to keep moving forward and that's part of the game. I spoke to ‘Uz’ straight after, it was pretty chilled, so mix-ups happen and we keep moving on."
Should Australia draw or win the second Test against Sri Lanka, it will be a consecutive series win for them in Asia. They have already secured one in Pakistan in March this year.