England will keep embracing risks during Ashes despite ‘blip’ – Daryl Mitchell
New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Mitchell believes England will continue embracing risks in the Ashes despite the “blip” that saw his side claim a famous victory in Wellington.
England have enjoyed some rousing successes since Ben Stokes and Kiwi favourite Brendon McCullum took over the Test team, winning 10 of their 12 outings by pushing the boundaries of attacking cricket.
But they suffered a rare setback in the last match, a thrilling one-run defeat at Basin Reserve as the Black Caps became just the fourth side in Test history to win after following on.
Already boasting a 1-0 lead from Mount Maunganui, England could have closed out the series by batting again instead of sending New Zealand back in for a second time but instead lived up to their aggressive principles by choosing the most direct route to victory.
And although that ultimately backfired against Mitchell’s men, the Lancashire overseas star does not expect any change of approach against Australia.
“England have had a lot of success in the last 12 months and it’s been well deserved, so I don’t think one little blip really affects how they’ll go about their business,” he told the PA news agency at Emirates Old Trafford.
“Knowing Baz McCullum, he won’t be reading too much into that result when he looks at how he goes about things. They’ll just try and keep doing what they do best.
“I think it’s cool they’ve found a style that works for them and fits how they want to play. It doesn’t mean that’s how everyone is going to do it but that’s the great thing about cricket, there’s more than one way to skin the cat.
“Wellington was certainly a very special match to be part of and when you reflect on it, you can see two world-class teams going at it for five days and being separated by one run. It’s a memory that will live with me for the rest of my career.
“I can’t comment on the decisions England made or how they played but as Kiwis, we pride ourselves on our ability to fight and get stuck in.”
Mitchell, who was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year for his efforts in a losing cause against England last summer, will be deep in Vitality Blast action with Lancashire when the Ashes gets under way but he is intrigued to see how two sides he knows well will perform.
“Australia have got a world-class bowling attack and I’m really excited to see England come at them, like we know they will and try to put the pressure back on them,” he said.
“Having seen the way Stokesy and Baz want to go about their cricket, I’m sure they’ll find a way to do that at times.
“At the same time it’s going to be interesting to see the English bowlers and how they can build pressure with those Dukes balls under the clouds. It’s going to make for some entertainment for those of us watching from afar.”
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