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Wednesday October 04, 2023

Smith intrigued to see how ‘Bazball’ fares in Ashes

By AFP
June 10, 2023

LONDON: Steve Smith insisted he was looking forward to England continuing with their ´Bazball´ style during the Ashes, saying "they haven´t come up against us yet" as Australia maintained their grip on the World Test Championship final against India on Thursday.England have won 11 of their 13 Tests since captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum joined forces last year after adopting an ultra-aggressive approach to red-ball cricket. But just over a week out from the first Test at Edgbaston, the opener in a five-match series, Smith clearly fancied Australia´s chances of a first Ashes campaign triumph in England for 22 years.

His confidence was well-founded after all five members of an attack led by captain Pat Cummins took a wicket apiece as India reached stumps on the second day at the Oval on 151- -- still a huge 318 runs adrift of Australia´s first-innings 469. Asked if England could still bat in dynamic fashion against an Australia bowling unit also featuring left-arm quick Mitchell Starc and miserly seamer Scott Boland, Smith replied: "I think I said it initially when ´Bazball´ started that I´m intrigued to see how it goes against our bowlers. I´ve said that all along.

"I think it´d be difficult on this kind of wicket - up and down and seaming around -- it´s not easy to defend, let alone come out and swing. "They´ve obviously done well against some other attacks, but they haven´t come up against us yet. So, we´ll see. "I must say I´ve enjoyed watching the way they (England) have played and the way that I guess they´ve turned things around in the last 12 months or so, but it´s yeah we´ll wait and see how it comes off against us." "It was nice to spend a lot of time out there against some good bowlers on a challenging wicket after getting sent in," he said.