Soon after the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final against India, Australia will take on England in a five-match Ashes series, starting June 16 at Edgbaston.
Ahead of the iconic series, Australia’s star batter Steve Smith has said that he is looking forward to England continuing with their ‘Bazball’ style during the Ashes.
England have played fearless brand of cricket in the longest format since skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum joined forces last year. They have won 11 out of their 13 Tests after adopting an ultra-aggressive approach to red-ball cricket.
“I think 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,” Smith said in a press conference after the second day’s play in the WTC final.
“I think it’d be difficult on this kind of wicket – up and down and seaming around — it’s not easy to defend, let alone come out and swing,” he added.
“They’ve obviously done well against some other attacks, but they haven’t come up against us yet. So, we’ll see.
“I must say I’ve enjoyed watching the way they (England) have played and the way that I guess they’ve turned things around in the last 12 months or so, but it’s yeah we’ll wait and see how it comes off against us,” he further stated.
Talking about the WTC final, Smith smashed 121, his 31st Test century, during Australia’s first innings and shared a 285-run stand for the fourth wicket with Travis Head (163). As a result, Australia piled up 496/10 in their first innings.
It was Smith’s seventh Test ton on English soil. His record at the Oval alone is remarkable, with him scoring three hundreds in four Tests at the iconic ground.
“It was nice to spend a lot of time out there against some good bowlers on a challenging wicket after getting sent in,” Smith said.
“I’ll take a lot of confidence out of that and hopefully can keep building and have a successful summer here.
“I think in terms of English wickets it’s probably as close to Australia as you get. I’ve enjoyed playing here and it was nice to score a few out here again.”
At the close of play on Day 2, India were 151/5, trailing Australia in the first innings by 318 runs.
(With AFP Inputs)