Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum’s brand of brash Test cricket continues to captivate and has seen this England side break record after record in the last 18 months.

England’s red-ball revolution started after a turning-point Test series defeat in the Caribbean. But the West Indies will be facing a very different England at Edgbaston when the two sides clash in Birmingham for the first time since 2017.

Having won only one of their previous 17 Tests, since the start of the ‘Bazball’ era in May 2022, England have gone on to win 13 from 18 Tests played, with four defeats and a solitary draw.

England ended 2022 with the highest run-rate of any team in Test history in a calendar year – 4.13 runs per over – and the most sixes (89).

With the belief to chase down any total set, England recorded three of the top seven highest successful run chases in 2022, including their highest ever of 378/3 against India at Edgbaston.

“We knew whatever they set us we’re going to chase it down,” Joe Root said after the record win in Birmingham.

“Ben wants us to be entertainers. He mentioned trying to be rock stars on the field. It’s about trying to have fun and relish every opportunity you get to showcase what you’re about and put on a show for everyone.”

England struck 22 centuries in total over the course of the year – breaking their record of 20 set in 2004 – including four on Day One against Pakistan at Rawalpindi. That was the first time in Test history four players from the same team scored centuries on the same day.

The year ended with a 3-0 series win in Pakistan, the first touring team to ever achieve this. Heading into the tour, England had only beaten the hosts in Test matches twice before on their own turf – and the last of those came in 2000 in the dark in Karachi.

“We know that we are a very exciting team. What the boys did was amazing,” Stokes said after the series win. “We have a really special group of players. We wanted to come here to Pakistan and take forward our mantra of exciting cricket.”

And the exciting cricket continued in 2023 as Stokes kept faith with his “we won’t be drawing many games” philosophy he issued on his appointment.

A thrilling Men’s Ashes series ended in a 2-2 draw following a dramatic final day finish at the Kia Oval.

The fourth Test at Emirates Old Trafford was the only stalemate, and the only one in 18 tests since Stokes took charge – and that was only due to rain. His side smashed 592, the second highest Test total so far this year, but fell five wickets short of victory.

England boast four of the top 10 run scorers in Test cricket so far in 2023: Root (787), Brook (701), Duckett (654) and Crawley (606).

Harry Brook wrote himself into the history books in the third Men’s Ashes Test this summer when he set the record for the fastest to 1,000 Test runs.

Most pundits have given up trying to second guess Stokes’ red ball antics. But one thing’s for sure, visitors to Edgbaston for the West Indies Test are in for a treat and the potential for more “I was there” moments.

Additional tickets released for first three days of West Indies Test

A small number of tickets have been released for the first three days of our Men’s Test against West Indies this summer (26-30 Juy).

Tickets are limited for these day and are expected to sell quickly. Early Bird tickets for Day Four are still available if purchased before midnight on 31 March.

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