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Hockey World Cup 2023: How Ben Stokes’ England’s ‘Bazball’ could be big threat for Indian hockey team | Other Sports News

The world of cricket is in awe of ‘Bazball’, the aggressive playing style that England’s men’s cricket team has employed in Test cricket to ensure they take opponents by surprise and win matches from impossible situation. Since Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes took over the Test side as head coach and captain, England have been playing fearless and attacking cricket with both bat and ball. The same style is now being seen on the hockey turf at the ongoing Hockey World Cup 2023 in Odisha. England men’s hockey team thrashed their neighbours Wales 5-0 in the opening encounter of the tournament on Friday. 

Also Read | Hockey World Cup 2023 begins today: India to Belgium, TOP 5 contenders for title, in PICS

Sam Ward, one of the best players in the England camp, told a newspaper publication after the match that they are looking to play aggressive hockey in the competition, taking a lead out of cricket team’s book. “We have gone down the ‘Bazball’ mentality and it is great our coaches are really encouraging that,” Ward was quoted as saying to Times of India.com. 

He added, “It is just not the style on the pitch, it’s also the philosophy – removing the fear of failure, just like Ben and Brendon have done. We feel the same as Stokes has done about cricket. We want to excite people, entertain people. We want them to think England are great to watch and to come and watch us.”

‘Bazball’ the term is inspired by the nickname of McCullum, which is ‘Baz’. McCullum was popularly known as Baz and he revolutionised batting at the top of the order with his aggressive approach. He led New Zealand with the same approach and inspired the team to a lot of success across formats, including reaching the final of the Men’s ODI World Cup in 2015. 

When England lost last Ashes, Joe Root was asked to resign and Chris Silverwood was sacked as head coach. McCullum then took over as coach as new management came in at England Cricket where former batter Rob Key called the shots. Stokes was roped in as captain and there began the ‘Bazball’ which helped England win many series including the recent conquest in Pakistan where they whitewashed the hosts.  

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