• England to keep playing Bazball

    Ben Stokes has vowed England will keep up their bold approach to Test cricket under coach Brendon McCullum after wrapping up a 2-1 series win over the Proteas at The Oval on Monday.

    The match was shortened to three days after the first day was washed out and the second scrapped following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

    But England still needed less than half an hour to seal victory by nine wickets in front of a sparse crowd in London.

    “This game here, with it being shortened, our main aim was it ending in a result,” England captain Stokes told Sky Sports.

    “We felt we owed it to ourselves, we owed it to the nation who have shown their support throughout this whole summer towards us and we will always continue to play in a way that we feel is going to entertain people and always look for the positive side of cricket.”

    Victory rounded off a stunning summer for England with the red ball. They swept the series against Test world champions New Zealand 3-0 and beat India in a Test postponed from last year after a Covid-19 outbreak.

    An attack-minded approach has underlined all those wins.

    “Me and Brendon are the guys who are sending this message to this group of players,” said Stokes.

    “I said to the lads in the dressing room the other day that the person who is delivering the message can only do so much. But I thanked all my team, my backroom staff and my coaches that they have all bought into this.

    “There is a reason why we have gone out and been able to perform and have the confidence in each other to go and do that. That is something that is very rare and something that you don’t see that often.”

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    © Agence France-Presse

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    Simon Borchardt