England playing ‘CazBall’ not ‘Bazball’, says Glenn McGrath 

Former Australian pacer Glenn McGrath has come down heavily on England and said that the Ben Stokes-led side was casual in its approach.

Published : Jul 05, 2023 21:51 IST , LONDON  - 2 MINS READ

Former Australia bowler Glenn McGrath gestures during the second Ashes Test match at Lord’s.
Former Australia bowler Glenn McGrath gestures during the second Ashes Test match at Lord’s. | Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Former Australia bowler Glenn McGrath gestures during the second Ashes Test match at Lord’s. | Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Legendary pacer Glenn McGrath 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 the game associated with the Brendon McCullum coached side in recent times.

England is down 0-2 after losing the first two Tests at Edgbaston and the Lord’s.

Ashes 2023: Stokes wants to ‘move on’ from Bairstow furore

The 53-year-old said he was initially in “two minds” over the dismissal of Jonny Bairstow, which has divided the cricketing world with many, including skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, calling it contrary to the ‘spirit of the game’.

“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 England was “too casual” from day one of the Lord’s Test. 

“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,” the legendary pace bowler said.

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