Former England captain Michael Vaughan says the Proteas cannot counter ‘Bazball’ with a defensive approach.
England have won all four Tests under coach Brendon ‘Baz’ McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes (three against New Zealand and one against India) by adopting a fearless attacking approach with the bat.
When asked about it after England whitewashed the Black Caps, Proteas captain Dean Elgar said: “It is always difficult to judge from afar, but I don’t think England’s brave cricket is sustainable. If New Zealand had taken their catches, England’s new attacking style would have left them with egg on their face.”
“They cannot go on the defensive with ball in hand, sit back and wait for England to implode,” he wrote in his Telegraph column. “If England bat for 80 overs they make more than 350. South Africa have to bowl them out within 60 overs. Simple as that.
“Having boundary riders is OK but it creates massive gaps like it did at Edgbaston when India were in the field for the run chase.
“It allowed a partnership to develop, but if you are taking wickets don’t worry about being hit for boundaries. Make sure you have fielders in the right position to create chances. You can always go back on the defensive later but against aggressive teams you have to be brave in setting fields correctly.”
“I always believe that when you play against attacking teams you have to attack them, too. Play them at their own game because there are vulnerabilities. It will be interesting to see if South Africa are positive enough to do that.
“England will score quickly so South Africa have to bring the spinner into play with clever field sets and dangle the carrot,” Vaughan added.
“If India had played Ravi Ashwin at Edgbaston they would have won. Simon Harmer could do a similar thing with his pace, flight and guile. It will spin in these hot conditions and there are a few left-handers in the England order as well for him to bowl at.”