“If We Go Down, It Will Be In Style”: Brendon McCullum Ahead Of India Tests



‘Bazball’ has changed the dynamics of England’s batting approach in Test cricket and their Kiwi coach Brendon McCullum is very clear that irrespective of outcome, his team won’t deviate from its aggressive tactics against India in the five-Test series, where most tracks will offer substantial turn. The term ‘Bazball’, coined after McCullum’s nickname ‘Baz’ and the attacking philosophy that he endorses, has also found its pride of place in ‘Collins dictionary’.

The meaning of ‘Bazball’ is “a style of test cricket in which the batting side attempts to gain the initiative by playing in a highly aggressive manner.” England will face India in five Tests at Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala, starting January 25.

“We have got a huge challenge against a very good Indian team in five Tests in India,” McCullum said at the Royal Challengers Bangalore Innovation Lab’s Leaders Meet India.

“I am excited about it because you want to test yourself against the best side and I genuinely believe that India is the best in their own condition. It is going to be a good challenge for us. If we have success then fabulous, if we don’t, then I know we will go down in the style that we want to go down,” McCullum used the platform, signal his and his team’s clear attacking intent for the marquee series.

In his address, McCullum also expressed his thoughts on the essence of ‘Bazball’ and what it stands for.

“We are playing the game, because we love cricket and we want to try and be as good at cricket as we possibly can. During the time that you are in the chair, you want to make sure you enjoy it and you shouldn’t wait till the end of your career to do so. We are very lucky that we have had some immediate success but I don’t think it is the ceiling for us.” The style of cricket has also allowed England to check the real potential of some of its younger players.

“I think we have seen some guys who have unlocked their potential in the last 18 months or so and that’s what the job is as a leader; to get the most out of the people that you’re in charge of,” he added.

The 42-year-old also recalled his fearless and unbeaten knock of 158 off 73 balls in the very first IPL game.

He credited the knock as the inspiration for the Bazball phenomenon.

“The reason why I daydream about that moment is because it literally changed my life. I was just a cricketer for New Zealand, where no one really knew what you did where you’re from, or what you’re capable of. But that day provided the platform, the forum, and the opportunity to change my life,” he said.

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