Mitchell Starc isn’t usually fazed by any challenges, but there may beone thing that is probably keeping him awake at night ahead of the Ashes, and that concerns England’s tactics.
Well, more specifically the much heralded ‘Bazball’ strategy adopted by England. This more aggressive form of cricket, which is the brainchild of England coach Brendon McCullum, has seen his side play more on the front foot as they seek to scale the heights of Test cricket once again.
With the Ashes just a couple of months away, England will want to set the right tone in the first Test, and these new-found attacking instincts that have been revived are much welcome given their past struggles with the bat.
And while Australia star Starc is relishing the Ashes, the ‘Bazball’ approach could cause his country problems.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Starc said: “I think it’s going to be unbelievable.
“They’re obviously playing an exciting form of cricket. It’s probably not the best time to play them but the best time in cricket to play England.
“The Ashes, Bazball, Ronball, it will be great to see. It’s going to be an exciting part of and hopefully it’s a great spectacle to watch.”
The ‘Bazball’ method has yielded results, with England recording 10 Test wins in their past 12 matches, and that has seen McCullum chalk up impressive victories against the likes of New Zealand, India, and Pakistan. Of course, the Ashes will be a different kettle of fish, but they look like a side transformed from the previous series where they slumped to a 4-0 defeat last year.
Indeed, this series will pique the interest of bettors and bookmakers alike all over the world. Many of the best cricket betting sites in Australia that are featured, for example, don’t think the Aussies will mount a successful defence of the Ashes. For example, PalmerBet has installed England as favourites at around EVENS to win the series on home soil, while Unibet has priced England at 10/11 to triumph.
England have undergone some changes in the coaching staff, and that has included the return of David Saker as the fast bowling coach. Saker was part of the England set-up that won at home in 2010/11, and he will stay on to help defend their 50-over World Cup title later this year.
The ‘Bazball’ approach, meanwhile, is unrelenting in terms of taking risks and being much braver.
Of course, the febrile arena that is Test cricket, and in particular, the Ashes series, will push both sides to the limit. But if England stick to their ‘Bazball’ principles, then it could well pay off. Ultimately, only time will tell.