England captain Ben Stokes led his team to a thrilling 49-run victory over Australia in the Ashes 2023 5th Test, leveling the series at 2-2. The England side displayed remarkable character to come back from a 2-0 deficit and draw the series, and they could have potentially won the Ashes if not for rain affecting the fourth Test.
Following the triumph at the Oval, Stokes was asked whether England’s Bazball tactics would be effective against Team India when they tour the subcontinent in February next year for the World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle. The 32-year-old responded with a cheeky remark regarding their approach.
Ever since Brandon McCullum took over as coach and Stokes became captain, the duo has transformed England’s fortunes. Despite doubts surrounding the Bazball approach, England has won 14 out of 18 Test matches under their leadership.
Stokes famously declared England’s first innings at 393/8 in the opening Test of Ashes 2023, a decision that led to a two-wicket loss, and he faced heavy criticism. However, the captain remained resolute in supporting the Bazball approach, which ultimately helped England level the series in a thrilling encounter at the Oval.
When asked about the approach’s chances against India, Ben Stokes replied, “I remember when we beat New Zealand 3-0, (the chatter) was we couldn’t do it against South Africa, (we) couldn’t do it against Pakistan, (we) couldn’t do it against Australia. So who knows if we can do it against India, only time will tell.”
Despite England’s successes against New Zealand, South Africa, and Pakistan, they have struggled against India in recent years, facing defeats in the subcontinent. However, with their revamped approach, England will be hopeful of better results when they tour India in March next year.