Captain Ben Stokes saluted his side after England secured their first home series whitewash in nine years as they completed a fine 3-0 victory over World Test Champions New Zealand at Headingley.
The new ‘Bazball’ philosophy has taken England’s batting to a whole new stratosphere and the captain-coach combination with Ben Stokes has worked wonders during their first assignment.
The hosts phenomenally chased 296 inside just 55 overs as they romped to an emphatic win.
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Yorkshire stars Joe Root (85) and man-of-the-moment Jonny Bairstow (71) delighted their home fans as they finished the series in style with a hugely-entertaining unbeaten stand.
Bairstow, who kept Brendon McCullum’s side in the game with his first-innings ton, continued his brilliant form as he smashed the country’s second fastest Test fifty — off only 30 balls — just days after he produced the second fastest Test century by an Englishman at Trent Bridge.
Fittingly the burly batter ended the series with a monstrous six. And just who knows how far this team can go under their brand new stewardship?
England have raised the bar in one-day cricket over the past seven years. They hold the three highest scores in the format and came agonisingly close to becoming the first team to smash 500 in an ODI last week against the Netherlands.
And the fifty-over world champions have decided to take that aggressive ethos into the longest format of the game and it has reaped its rewards in this series.
Bairstow, widely regarded as one of the best white-ball cricketers in the world, has benefitted the most from the new mindset and crashed 394 runs in a potentially career-defining series for the middle-order batter.
And skipper Stokes said: “It has gone really well. To walk away with a 3-0 win over the best team in the world is very special. The team has been phenomenal.
"For me when I took over this job it was about more than results, it was about changing mindsets towards Test cricket. I wanted them to have fun and enjoy representing their country. But to say that we've turned it around so quickly is unbelievable. I can only do so much, there's a huge amount of credit due to Brendon for his influence and the players for buying into it.”
Former captain Joe Root was named man of the series after a phenomenal month back in the ranks. The stylish number three has a smile back on his face and it proves he is by far and away the best Test batter on the planet.
We’ve seen him play some incredible reverse laps for six. Something you’d associate with T20 cricket and this is the brand which England are embracing.
And man-of-the-series Root said: “It is special. It has been a strange few weeks from where we've been over the last few months in Test cricket. It has been quite a ride but it has been so much fun and really enjoyable. It is phenomenal to start Ben's era like that and hopefully we can go from strength to strength from here.
"I've enjoyed batting - it has been quite nice. It has been great. It has been a relaxed environment and just being able to solely focus on batting. There are a lot of elements to it that makes things a lot easier for me, but I'll support Ben however I can. I was excited when Brendon McCullum got the job and I didn't expect it. Not having the captaincy means I wasn't involved in those discussions and he has been brilliant in the dressing room. What a great start to his tenure and we'll see how things go moving forward."
Left-arm tweaker Jack Leach took a maiden ten-wicket match haul and that will do him the world of good after a tough couple of years with a lack of form and illness.
The signs are bright for this England side and the sky looks to be the limit. It will be interesting to see how they fair against India at Edgbaston next week for the final game of last year’s five-match series.
For New Zealand they could be at a crossroads themselves. Is it the end of this great side? Captain Kane Williamson struggled with the bat.
Daryl Mitchell was the outstanding batter as he racked up a phenomenal tally of over 500 runs in the series with a ton in every game.
Trent Boult caused England problems with the new ball, but a lack of backup bowling left the attack looking weary and at times hopeless.
Williamson reflected: "It is frustrating to lose the series but there were a lot of positives.
"There is clearly a new theme to England's approach and they did it extremely well. It was a highly competitive series but they won those fine margins and those moments that changed the outcome of the matches."
Third Test: England won by seven wickets to complete a 3-0 series whitewash
New Zealand: 329 (Mitchell 109, Blundell 55; Leach 5/100, Broad 3/62) & 326 (Blundell 88*, Latham 76; Leach 5/66, Potts 3/66)
England: 360 (Bairstow 162, Overton 97; Boult 4/104, Southee 3/100) & 296/3 (Root 86*, Pope 82, Bairstow 71*)
*18+ | BeGambleAware