Stokes vows no let-up in attacking approach during Ashes

Birmingham (AFP): England captain Ben Stokes insists there will be no let-up in his side’s dynamic ‘Bazball’ approach during the Ashes series against arch-rivals Australia.

Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum have overseen 11 wins from 13 Tests since they joined forces, with England’s ultra-aggressive style dubbed Bazball in reference to former New Zealand captain McCullum’s nickname.

All-rounder Stokes, a veteran of several Ashes campaigns, told a pre-match press conference at Edgbaston on Thursday: “Today has been the most relaxed the group has felt. We are really excited to get going, it’s been a long time coming.”

He added: “What we have done over the last year is show how we want to play. We found a way that we are able to get the best out of the team and also the individuals.”

Ashes-holders Australia last week defeated India in the World Test Championship final at The Oval.

But Stokes was adamant that England had no plans to modify their style against Pat Cummins’s powerful side during the five-match series, which starts in Birmingham on Friday.

“We get asked if we will continue to play this way against this opposition or that opposition,” he said.

“This is how England play. It’s worked more than it’s not. There’s no doubt about how we are going to play against Australia.”