South Africa manager Mark Boucher downplays ‘Bazball’ as Jimmy Anderson says England love the style

South Africa manager Mark Boucher downplays ‘Bazball’ as Jimmy Anderson says England love the style

South Africa manager Mark Boucher downplays ‘Bazball’ as Jimmy Anderson says England love the style

It’s not exactly Antonio Conte v Thomas Tuchel, but it looks like England have gotten under South Africa’s skin before a ball has been thrown in this summer’s marquee test series.

Specifically, it is the use of a certain term that has caused South Africa to get a little nervous ahead of the first Test on Tuesday at Lord’s.

Because if Brendon McCullum isn’t exactly in love with branding England’s new high-octane style of play as ‘Bazball’, then that’s nothing compared to Dean Elgar’s reaction.

South Africa manager Mark Boucher downplays ‘Bazball’ as Jimmy Anderson says England love the style

South Africa supremo Mark Boucher is preparing his team to face England at Lord’s on Tuesday.

Evergreen Jimmy Anderson Says England Are Enjoying Brendon McCullum's 'Bazball' Approach

Evergreen Jimmy Anderson Says England Are Enjoying Brendon McCullum’s ‘Bazball’ Approach

First, the plucky South African captain said England risked ending up with the “egg in the face” by playing in a way that brought them a tumultuous four wins from four Tests under new leadership against New Zealand and India earlier this summer. .

Then Elgar, who is believed to regard England’s new methods as ‘disrespectful’ to the great old form of the game, told his team not to use the offensive B-word.

So upset was Anrich Nortje when asked about ‘Bazball’ during South Africa’s loss to the Lions last week that he gave a reporter the kind of hostile look he would reserve for Jimmy Anderson if he had attacked him for six.

Meanwhile, another South African bowler has apologized, telling a writer that the only off-limits topic in an interview was the methods England have introduced to try and save Test cricket at a time when it is threatened by national franchises like never before.

England manager Brendon McCullum's style has captivated cricket ahead of his latest test.

England manager Brendon McCullum’s style has captivated cricket ahead of his latest test.

It was revealing on Sunday when Mark Boucher, the coach of South Africa, brought up the subject before his Lord’s press conference when he joked that anyone who mentioned ‘Bazball’ would have to have a shot of tequila.

It was a bit like Basil Fawlty was paranoid about mentioning the war in front of his German guests. Boucher mentioned ‘Bazball’ once, but didn’t really get away with it.

“We haven’t talked much about it,” Boucher said a little unconvincingly when asked if South Africa had been beaten by what might be called “Baby Bazball” when they were beaten by a Lions team that crushed them by 672 in just 117 overs. in Canterbury.

I know that here they have given a name to their style. We haven’t given ours a name. We think we have been playing a good style of cricket and have had some close series lately where we have come out on top. We want to play aggressive cricket, but you have to be smart.

‘Nothing will change for us. This is an England v South Africa series and there is always a lot of media hype. A lot of things are said, but the bottom line is that it’s a game between bat and ball and you have to make decisions at certain points in the game.’

But can South Africa, leading the World Test Championship table, find a way to stop what was beginning to look like an English Test giant ahead of an untimely six-week break from Test Cricket ahead of this series?

“I don’t know,” Boucher said. ‘I’ll tell you in the day. We have to be adaptable in test cricket.

“So we don’t know what the conditions will be like. It’s just about finding a way to try to stop them, stop their momentum and find a way to change it.’

One player definitely happy to speak yesterday about the methods put forward by manager McCullum and new captain Ben Stokes was Anderson, who has not only been reintroduced to the England squad after his absence from the West Indies tour, but also has been revitalized by it.

“We are all very excited to be back,” said Anderson, who celebrated his 40th birthday during the cue-ball enforced break from Test cricket in the summer.

“The first thing Ben said in the locker room was how much he had missed being around this group.

‘Dean Elgar has his opinion. They have their way of playing Test Cricket and Ben and Brendon have their way of wanting to. So we’re buying into that, trying to play our way, and we love it.”

Anderson hopes that a pioneering style that is rewriting the Test playbook, regardless of what Elgar thinks, will spread through the game as well. “I hope so,” he said.

‘Ben and Brendon will want players who can fit into this spirit. That will mean they have to play a certain way for the Lions and their counties.

“I know there’s still a lot of skepticism among county coaches that this is not a sustainable way to play, but we think it’s different.”

Anderson, as fit and fit as ever, will become the first England specialist closer in his 40 years to take a Test wicket since Les Jackson in 1960 when he hits Lord’s in what is expected to be an unchanged team since the record. victory over India.

“I am proud to have gotten to where I am,” he said. “I also feel lucky that I still have that love for the game and the desire to get better. I still want to do the training, the nets and whatever.

‘With a lot of people, desire is the first thing to go and you start to slow down and relax.

“But I feel like the passion is still there and I’m lucky my body is still working and allowing me to do the work that I love.”

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