Friday, Dec 08, 2023

'CazBall Not Bazball': Glenn McGrath Lashes Out At England's Ashes Approach

'CazBall Not Bazball': Glenn McGrath Lashes Out At England's Ashes Approach

England and Australia will be squaring off against each other in the third Ashes Test on Thursday at Headingley.

England have made wholesome changes for the third Test against Australia.
England have made wholesome changes for the third Test against Australia. AP

England lost the second Ashes Test match to Australia at Lord's despite winning the toss under overcast conditions. (More Cricket News)

Ben Stokes might have played an exemplerary innings on the final day of the Lord's Test but it wasn't enough for his side to go 0-2 down to Australia. 

In the wake of this Test match, former Australia pacer Glenn McGrath has has slammed England for playing casual cricket against Australia in the ongoing Ashes, sarcastically terming it as "CazBall" instead of "Bazball", the aggressive version of game associated with the Brendon McCullum coached side in recent times. 

The Jonny Bairstow run-out incident indeed hogged the limelight and McGrath was initially in 'two minds' over the dismissal, that has divided opinions the world over.

"I want to start by saying Jonny Bairstow's controversial dismissal was not my favourite. I have been thinking about it a lot, reading all of the reaction, and it has had me in two minds," McGrath wrote in a column for BBC.

"Originally, I would have liked to have seen Australia captain Pat Cummins withdraw his appeal... but the more I think about it the more I think it was the right decision from Cummins. I think it is a sign of something deeper in England's mentality.

"...Now, I am a fan of Bazball. The concept of backing yourself, playing without fear and putting pressure back on the opposition - that I agree with wholeheartedly.

"But Bairstow's dismissal epitomises what we have seen from England in this series. It has been Casual Ball - CazBall if you will, not Bazball." McGrath said

"After a rain delay, Australia's batters were champing at the bit to get out there. The umpires were on the field, but despite conditions massively in their favour, half the England players, captain included, still had their feet up on the balcony.

"In the first Test, England declared on day one - again, casual." Bairstow was dismissed on final day of play when after ducking a slow bouncer from Cameron Green, he had immediately left his crease to have a chat with Ben Stokes in the middle, believing that the ball was 'dead'.

However, wicketkeeper Alex Carey played within the rules and broke the stumps and third umpire Marais Erasmus gave a decision in favour of Australia.

"The Bairstow dismissal, the Yorkshireman walking out of his crease like he owned the game, was the culmination of everything we have seen from this current team," McGrath wrote.

"I have read a lot about the 'spirit of cricket' this week. Well, you have to respect Test cricket with your attitude as well. You cannot just go wandering out of your crease.

"It took something like the Bairstow incident for England to realise they are in the battle - and that is disappointing."
(With PTI inputs)