Legendary opener Sir Geoffrey Boycott said England have got carried away with Bazball after they suffered defeat in the first Ashes Test to Australia and expressed fear over the Ben Stokes-led side reducing the five-game series to an exhibition.
Despite playing in an ultra-attacking way, England are now 1-0 down with four matches still left to play in the Ashes after suffering a two-wicket defeat to Australia in a thrilling series opener at Edgbaston.
"England have got carried away with Bazball and seem to think entertaining is more important than winning. But England supporters want one thing more than anything else -- to win the Ashes."
"Scoring fast runs, whacking lots of fours and sixes is lovely. It is great. But only if England do not lose sight of the big prize which is to beat Australia. If at the end of the series Australia go home with the Ashes, we will feel sick, regardless of how much we have been entertained," wrote Boycott in his column for The Daily Telegraph on Thursday.
Boycott also called for England to use common sense in some parts of the match instead of playing relentless attacking cricket.
"They are in danger of letting hubris be their downfall or, quoting William Shakespeare in Hamlet, being hoisted by one's own petard. They are going to defeat themselves. It would be sad if playing exciting cricket for a year is going to their heads."
"By all means entertain but cricket is like chess. There are moments when you need to defend. Sometimes you need to be patient and accept it. Do not just attack, attack, attack. England need a bit of common sense and pragmatism. That is all that is required. If England are not playing to win then these Ashes Tests are not that important. They are only exhibition matches."
Electing to bat first, England declared their first innings at 393/8 despite Joe Root unbeaten at 118, a move which Boycott criticised.
"The rule is to get as many runs as you can when the pitch is good before it deteriorates. England might have scored another 40-50 runs with Root on a hundred and Ollie Robinson, who can bat, but declared to get a wicket."
"Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have rightly received a lot of praise for the way they have changed the attitude around the England team but playing just one way is not using your brain. If we are more interested in praise than winning then we have it wrong," he concluded.