“It didn’t make sense”, Former Pakistan player launches a scathing attack on Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum after the first Ashes 2023 test

Ashes 2023: England’s audacious approach to Test cricket has come under fire following their narrow two-wicket defeat to Australia in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston. The decision to declare on the first day of the Test, with their score at 393/8, drew significant criticism from former cricketers and fans alike. This move was defended by captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, despite the loss.

Under the stewardship of Stokes and McCullum, England have developed an aggressive brand of cricket. This approach, nicknamed ‘Bazball’, has brought them significant success in the longest format of the game. Despite their defeat in the first Ashes Test, there’s little to suggest they will abandon this style. However, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has a different opinion.

Butt believes it’s crucial for teams to adapt their strategies based on the opposition. He stated, “You have to adapt. There are no guarantees that everyone will score, just because you have batting depth. If you’re set, you have to score big. You can’t rely on others.” He implied that England’s aggressive approach could be overdone.

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Ashes 2023: Salman Butt criticises England’s approach in the first test

Butt went on to question England’s declaration decision, asking, “A batsman is playing on 130, he’s set, you have 10-odd overs, you’re on 393, have a chance to add 50-60 runs more, so why did you declare?” He called it an arrogant decision and suggested that England may have underestimated their opponents.

He continued, “Australia aren’t walkovers. In Pakistan, our bowlers were inexperienced. Even if it was our best bowling, even they didn’t have that much of experience in Tests.” Butt highlighted the fact that Australia has a more experienced team and preference for Test cricket.

In Butt’s view, England’s declaration reflected an underestimation of Australia’s strength. He asserted, “On the other hand, Australia are Test champions, they prefer Test cricket. They are ready to leave IPL for Tests. You can’t take that team lightly.” This suggests that, moving forward, England may need to reassess their aggressive approach.

Butt’s comments underline the need for flexibility in strategy. While England’s aggressive approach has seen success, adapting to the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents is crucial. Whether England will change their approach in the upcoming Ashes Tests remains to be seen. However, the critique from Butt and others underscores the importance of tactical adaptability in Test cricket.

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