London, June 22 Despite Australia winning the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, former opener Matthew Hayden feels the Pat Cummins-led side can learn some bits from the swashbuckling Bazball approach adopted by England in playing the longest format of the game.
Captain Pat Cummins led Australia to a thrilling two-wicket victory at Edgbaston through an unbeaten 44 and match-winning ninth-wicket stand of 55 with Nathan Lyon (16 not out) to successfully chase down 281 on the last day of the match, following Ben Stokes’ daring first-innings declaration on 393/8 on day one.
“They (England) will only know one way to play now. Stokes really said it in his press conference as we‘l. ‘Look, we didn’t get that result but that’s not going to stop the way that we want to go about our business’. In fact, I reckon Australian cricket can learn a bit from it (Bazball),” said Hayden to SEN Radio.
According to Hayden, Australia found itself tied down in Birmingham despite Usman Khawaja scoring the bulk of runs, something which he thinks they can improve on.
“Even when I think back to Usman’s second innings — and this is being incredibly critical — but there was a time where he really needed to have a bit of BazBall himself and be inspired by it.”
“He was really in a situation where he was locking down the run rate and occupying the crease and then you’ve got a young Cameron Green who was doing the same, trying to find his tempo in Test cricket. We know and we’ve seen through his T20 performances that he can be an absolute rockstar in terms of the way that he plays.”
Talking about the performance of senior players, Hayden said, “Some of the senior players — Davey Warner a big tick, just his attitude, the way that he was into the ball, good body language. Usman Khawaja occupying the crease but also could probably find a gear when he has to relieve pressure off some of the other players.”
“Alex Carey had a fantastic game, Marnus Labuschagne at the moment does look like he’s really caught on the crease so he’s going to have some work to do on that BazBall mentality. I think (Steve) ‘Smudgey’ Smith is also a bit the same.”
“He was fantastic through certain periods of the World Test Championship, but those two key players (Labuschagne and Smith) for us can get a little defensive. They’re more defensive than attacking and I’d really like to see them explore and extend upon their current mindset as a batting unit.”
Hayden also wants Warner to take on Ollie Robinson, who doesn’t possess much pace and gave a fiery send-off to Khawaja in Australia’s first innings.
“That’s how you combat England as well. As soon as Pat Cummins started coming at Joe Root and hit a couple of sixes.”
“Then the other bloke (Ollie Robinson), he’s a forgettable cricketer. A fast bowler that is bowling 124 (kph) nude nuts and he’s got a mouth from the south. “Someone like him, you can just go, ‘Brother, I’m coming at ya’. Davey Warner can do that, right? He can just say, ‘You’re bowling 120km’.”
(This article is from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by The SportsGrail)