England blanked world Test champions New Zealand 3-0 and beat India in Edgbaston, but the most impressive thing was how they chased down 270-plus targets in all four games. The team had won only one of their previous 17 Tests before a turnaround, which saw 'Bazball' coming to the fore. England's new swashbuckling approach in the red-ball format was named after coach Brendon McCullum, who made an immediate impact with Ben Stokes as the captain.
England now host South Africa in a three-test series and then take on rivals Australia in the 2023 edition of the Ashes. The emergence of 'Bazball' – a fresh approach that involves an all-out attack – has been making waves, but Dean Elgar said he isn't impressed with England's bold style of cricket.
Sam Billings has responded to the South African captain's remark on 'Bazball', saying it would be 'pretty stupid' on the touring side to overlook the approach.
"We've (England Lions) beaten an international team over four days by an innings in a manner of scoring 5.74 an over. You'd be pretty stupid to ignore that, if I'm honest. If that's not a wake-up call… because we're not even the best XI," Billings, who hit 92 for England Lions in the warm-up game against South Africa, was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.
"So, it's up to them, really, but I think that's laid out a pretty strong statement in the way we want the cricket to be played, but also being able to execute it and having the players to do that was really impressive," Billings added.
"This (Canterbury ground where the Lions-SA game was played) is a very similar ground to Lord's (where the first England-South Africa Test will be played) with the slope and things like that. There's a couple of guys who Ollie Robinson had on toast this week. He bowled exceptionally well. It's a similar kind of ground and a similar kind of feel. So the fact we got 20 wickets on a pretty flat pitch that had six heavy rollers on… What did we get? 672? It's impossible not to take confidence, certainly as a group, but some of the guys are in the Test squad as well and they'll take a lot of confidence into next week," added Billings.
Earlier, Elgar had said that 'Bazball' has no 'longevity' and England could have 'come away with egg on their faces' in the Test series against New Zealand.
"The new England style is quite interesting. But I don't see that there's longevity in brave cricket because I see things evening out over time in Test cricket," said the South Africa skipper in an interview with Wisden Cricket Monthly.
"There was often parity between England and New Zealand and had New Zealand taken their opportunities, and their catches, then things could have been very different. England would have come away with egg on their faces."