Daniel Vettori: England’s winning habit more impressive than style of cricket

Daniel Vettori insists it is England’s winning habit rather than their ‘Bazball’ style that has earned the respect of Australia ahead of this summer’s Ashes.

Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes have inspired a thrilling revival of England’s Test team, winning 10 out of 12 matches by adopting an aggressive, never say die mindset.

Australia are aiming to retain the Ashes when the series opens at Edgbaston on June 16 and assistant coach Vettori, who played alongside McCullum for New Zealand, insists the hosts’ results trump how they were achieved.

“Irrespective of the style they’re using, they’re playing winning cricket and that’s the thing everyone gravitates towards,” Vettori said.

Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori
Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori are former New Zealand team-mates (Nick Potts/PA)

“The fact that they’ve played so well over an extended period of time has been what’s so impressive.

“Brendon wouldn’t want to make the attention about himself, but he’s got this moniker going for him now. That’s Brendan since he came out of the womb – he’s pretty positive.

“England keep coming and so you’ve got to anticipate that and not back off.”

England are hoping that Stokes is able to play a full part in the five-Test series following his struggle with a knee injury that has required a cortisone injection.

However, there is uncertainty over what contribution their talisman will be able to make with the ball after he was unable to bowl in his side’s most recent outing against New Zealand in February.

“We’re preparing for him to be his normal self. He’s one of the top all-rounders in world cricket. We know how much he brings to the table as an all-rounder,” Vettori said.

“It’s like Cameron Green for us, offering that balance and ability to come in and be an aggressive weapon along with his batting, which has been exceptional.

“Every team wants their all-rounder up and running because it makes things run so smoothly.”

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes’ fitness is a talking point heading into the Ashes (John Walton/PA)

While England warm-up for the Ashes with a one-off Test against Ireland, Australia face India in the ICC World Test Championship final at the Oval.

Vettori is undecided over who has the better build-up.

“Ask me again on the back of these four days of prep!” the former spin bowler said.

“But there’s a real excitement that we have the ability to play one of the best teams in the world in such a crucial game and that should set us up well for the Ashes.

“It’s six Tests of high intensity and you couldn’t ask for anything more.”