KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — New Zealand coach Gary Stead believes England’s attacking brand of cricket is redefining the test format of the game as the Black Caps prepare for their two-test series in Pakistan.
“There’s no doubt that they (England) are changing the face of test cricket a little bit,” Stead said Friday after his team’s first training session at the National Stadium in the southern port city of Karachi. “All teams will be thinking a little bit around how England play and the successes that they’ve had in this past year.”
Led by captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, England swept Pakistan 3-0 this month with its “bazball” aggressive cricket in its first tour to the country after 17 years.
It was England’s ninth win in the last 10 test matches since Stokes replaced Joe Root and McCullum was installed as coach.
“That’s exciting for them and I think it’s exciting for test cricket,” Stead said. “Whilst they did win 3-0 (against Pakistan) though, it was still a very, very tight series throughout and I expect our series here also to be the same.”
England’s fearless approach of scoring at a fast pace saw the team racking up a record 506-4 on the opening day of the first test. England wrapped up the series with an emphatic eight-wicket win at Karachi inside four days.
“There’s no doubt T20 cricket has sped up scoring overall,” Stead said. “Now most cricketers … have the ability to score at a much faster rate. For me, it’s still about finding your tempo, your style of play that suits your players the best.”
England’s batters, led by Harry Brook’s three centuries in three tests, played a key role in the team’s clean sweep in which Pakistan legspinners Abrar Ahmed and Zahid Mahmood shared 29 wickets between them.