'You don't want easy challenges' - Bazball set to be unleashed in Pakistan, confirms McCullum
England have experienced quite a turnaround in Test cricket ever since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum took over as the format’s captain and coach respectively earlier this year, with them winning six of the seven Tests during the home summer. At the heart of it all was their aggressive and positive brand of cricket, dubbed as the "Bazball", which was most evident in their stunning fourth-innings run-chases.
Ahead of their three-match Test series in Pakistan, McCullum stressed that England would continue the same way and that he would be “okay” even if the team is outplayed.
"To win away from home is the greatest accomplishment you can achieve as a Test player and as a Test side," McCullum said in England's first press conference of the tour on Sunday, November 27.
"We understand the size of the challenge in front of us. But that's great - that's why you want to play the game. You don't want easy challenges, you want to take on the best in their own conditions and you want to try and test where you're at as a side. I'm really excited. I don't know if we're going to win the series. I can almost guarantee when the skipper comes in here in 48 hours time he'll say there'll be no draws in the series.
"We'll certainly be pushing for results because we see it as our obligation to try and ensure that people walk away entertained. And if we get beat, Pakistan, we know, will have played well. I expect us to play well and if we get outplayed, that's okay too. Looking forward to the opportunity, looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to the hospitality. And hopefully in a few weeks time everyone will say this has been an amazing series."
This would be England’s first Test series in Pakistan since the 2005 tour, wherein they were beaten 2-0 in a three-match series. McCullum and the team looks forward to the challenge of playing in front of a vibrant Pakistan crowd in Rawalpindi, Multan and Karachi.
"The boys have already said they're pretty excited about playing in front of a full house here, it's going to be a good atmosphere, so they're really excited," he said. "That's what we want from red-ball cricket all around the world, stadiums packed out and fans getting behind their local team.
"To have that on the road is the greatest compliment... we're lucky that the crowd here is sold out and that's kind of what we want. The skipper wants them to be rockstars and to be a rockstar you've got to play in front of the big houses. We've got that opportunity to do that."
The first of three Tests will be played in Rawalpindi, beginning Thursday, December 1.