Steve Waugh's warning to England over 'Bazball' Ashes claim

The Aussie legend isn't sold on the approach named after their coach.

Ben Stokes during a match and Pat Cummins celebrates a wicket.
Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting have questioned whether Ben Stokes (pictured left) and his men can keep up 'Bazball' against the Aussie bowling attack in the Ashes. (Getty Images)

Aussie cricket legend Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting have questioned whether Ben Stokes and his team will be able to carry out their famed 'Bazball' style of play against Australia in the upcoming Ashes series. Stokes mentioned ahead of the Ashes that England wouldn't shy away from their aggressive style of cricket, which has formed under new coach Brendan McCullum and the captain himself.

England has seen huge success with the aggressive approach and it has won back fans, but it has also been their downfall. There has been plenty of talk on whether England will stick with the style of cricket if Australia take a series lead or the conditions become tough.

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While their approach remains one of the exciting aspects of the highly-anticipated Ashes series, former Australian captain Waugh has questioned his old rivals over their tactics. The cricket great isn't convinced yet with Bazball and doesn't believe the approach will work against Australia's bowling attack.

"That is the big question mark over so-called Bazball. What is Plan B? Have they got a Plan B?" Waugh said. "If they haven't then they are going to be found out.

"They have shown they are good enough to carry this style of cricket off but the ultimate test will be against a world-class bowling attack, which Australia has got. It is exciting but to me the jury is out at the moment. Does (Bazball) hold up under scrutiny against a really good bowling attack in maybe challenging conditions?"

Waugh said while he admires the fact the players could stick with the cavalier style of play, it might also be their undoing. "There is no doubt it won't work all the time but I think with (coach Brendon) McCullum and (captain Ben) Stokes they will have the courage to go through with it," Waugh said.

"They can't chop and change. Have they got a back-up plan? I'm not sure. That might find them out."

Pat Cummins huddles together with his teammates.
Pat Cummins and the Aussies will take on England in the Ashes next week. (Photo by Alex Davidson-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Ricky Ponting intrigued over England's Ashes approach

Waugh isn't the only legend questioning the approach. Australia's highest-ever run scorer, Ponting, said he is sure Pat Cummins' bowling attack have a number of surprises up their sleeves.

"I've got a few thoughts on what I'd be doing if I was an Australian fast bowler," Ponting said. "I think the reason the way England have played for the last couple of years is with this series in mind.

"They've been trying to find a brand of cricket that they can play that's going to win an Ashes series."

Ben Stokes during training.
England captain Ben Stokes (pictured) has been confident his team will keep up the 'Bazball' style of approach.(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

After day 2 of the Test Championship Final, Steve Smith also weighed-in after he watched the Aussie bowling attack rip through India. Having been asked whether England could keep up their approach, Smith reiterated how he thinks the approach will work against his teammates.

"I mean, I think it'd be difficult on this kind of wicket that's up and down and seaming around – it's not easy to defend let alone come out and swing," Smith told reporters. "I said it initially when Bazball started that I'm intrigued to see how it goes against our bowlers. I've said that all along."

with AAP

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