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Ashes: Cook praises Stokes and McCullum, says won't have fit into Bazball

Cook does not criticise McCullum or Stokes for their failure in getting back the Ashes

Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes

Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Alastair Cook, the highest run-getter for England in Tests and one of the most prolific red-ball openers praised coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes. He said that they have made Test cricket attractive. England’s dreams of retaining the Ashes have been washed away in Manchester, but their aggressive playing style has undoubtedly had a lasting impact on the minds of the audiences, feels Cook. 

However, the biggest question that the stylish left-hander answered was whether he would have been a part of the Bazball attack. "Maybe Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum would have liked to play a different player, or I would have had to play differently to get into the Test team. But that’s fine because the effect that these guys are having on English cricket is phenomenal," Cook said in an interaction with an Indian media outlet ahead of the fifth Ashes Test at the Oval. 

They are breaking down barriers of Test cricket, scoring seven runs in an over in a session against a superb Australian attack, which is unheard of,” Times Of India quoted Cook as saying.  

Englan trail 1-2 in the series, but they looked like winning most of the three games. Their first-innings declaration in the first Test at Edgbaston has been considered one of the worst decisions in recent Test history. But Cook does not criticise McCullum or Stokes for failing to get back the Ashes. 

Narrating a story about Stokes’ mindset, the former England captain who scored 12,472 runs in 161 Tests said, “Stokes once told me, 'What’s the difference between trying to defend and nicking to the ’keeper and trying to score runs and getting caught in the outfield? Both are getting out.' 

"That’s the way he thinks and he has been able to make his players think on similar lines. I have seen no captain ever having an impact like Stokes. But I don’t want to get carried away because he still has a lot of years left in him and a captain should be judged only at the end of his stint."

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First Published: Jul 26 2023 | 1:28 PM IST

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