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England were playing ‘Bazball’ during 2005 Ashes series win – Michael Vaughan

The current England team have developed into an attacking and entertaining Test unit under the guidance of coach Brendan McCullum – nicknamed Baz.

Andy Hampson
Tuesday 13 June 2023 13:56 BST
England levelled the 2005 Ashes series with a memorable win at Edgbaston (Rui Vieira/PA)
England levelled the 2005 Ashes series with a memorable win at Edgbaston (Rui Vieira/PA) (PA Archive)

Michael Vaughan claims his England side were playing ‘Bazball’ during their memorable Ashes series triumph of 2005.

The current England team have developed into an attacking and entertaining Test unit over the past year under the guidance of coach Brendan McCullum – nicknamed Baz – and captain Ben Stokes.

They head into this summer’s Ashes series, which begins at Edgbaston on Friday, confident of reclaiming the urn from Australia.

Former England skipper Vaughan can see similarities with the way his team approached the contest 18 years ago, remembering particularly the series-changing second Test at Birmingham.

England had been thrashed in the opener at Lord’s but bounced back in exhilarating style.

“I remember having a team meeting on the Tuesday night and I basically gave the players the freedom to go and be really aggressive with the bat,” said Vaughan, who was speaking in a new 10-part original podcast series from Global, Legends of the Ashes, which launches on Thursday.

“We have to be aggressive. I didn’t expect us to get 400 in, I think it was 80 (overs). Very much like the modern England thing, the Ben Stokes (way) – we were playing ‘Bazball’ in 2005 for that first day at Edgbaston.”

The day began in extraordinary fashion as Australia’s inspirational seamer Glenn McGrath injured his ankle when he trod on a stray ball during the warm-up and was forced to miss the game.

England scored 407 with 90 from Marcus Trescothick, 48 from Andrew Strauss and half-centuries from Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff.

Vaughan said: “You shouldn’t really celebrate great players being stretchered off at that time, but we were. Particularly Tres. He couldn’t believe his luck!”

Australia fought their way back into the contest but England snatched a tense and dramatic two-run victory in one of the great Test finishes on the fourth morning.

Vaughan said: “I don’t remember much about the celebration other than I’ve obviously seen the celebrations on TV and I’ve no idea why I jumped on Freddie Flintoff, I’ve no idea why I pulled his ears.

“You just do these stupid things when you’ve kind of come to the end of what was nearly four days of great cricket.”

:: Legends of The Ashes is a new 10-part Global Original podcast series launching on Global Player and all major audio platforms from Thursday, June 15.

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