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Friday, April 19, 2024

Jasprit Bumrah Sees England’s “Bazball” Style as Chance to Take ‘Plenty’ of Wickets

IndiaJasprit Bumrah Sees England's "Bazball" Style as Chance to Take 'Plenty' of Wickets

Jasprit Bumrah had issued a warning the week prior to the commencement of the series, but England brushed it off as pre-series banter or mere intimidation.

For the fast bowler, England’s aggressive and ultra-positive style of play, known as “Bazball,” presented an opportunity to claim numerous wickets.

Just two matches into the series, Ben Stokes’ squad is already feeling the impact of Bumrah’s prowess, with his performances drawing comparisons to Mitchell Johnson’s devastating spells during the 2013-14 Ashes.

In a series where spin was expected to dominate, England’s Bazball tactics are faltering against the damaging effects of pace—Bumrah’s yorkers, reverse swing, and distinctive release points.

Before heading for a break in Abu Dhabi, Brendon McCullum mentioned strategizing to counter the Bumrah threat in the remaining Tests. However, implementing such strategies proves to be easier said than done.

The defeat in the second Test has not only left English supporters frustrated but has also raised questions about the implications of Bazball. Despite being their most significant series, it would be unfair to abandon their philosophy. However, have some of the batters overindulged in Bazball? Has someone as esteemed as Joe Root appeared frantic? Can a one-size-fits-all approach be considered rational in Indian conditions?

Former England captains hold differing opinions. Mike Atherton, in The Times, London, argues that Bazball should not be judged based on a single innings, emphasizing a bigger picture. Meanwhile, Michael Vaughan suggests that while some players may adopt a fifth-gear approach, Root should stick to his traditional style of play.

Statistics, however, paint a different picture for Root under the Bazball regime, with his average increasing to 52.63 compared to 49.20 previously. Root’s ability to play spin is exemplary, as evidenced by his past performances in India.

England will rely heavily on Root’s form if they are to harbor hopes of winning the series. They will hope he maintains his composure and avoids unnecessary dismissals. What has proven effective elsewhere may not yield the same results in India.

England’s fast-scoring rate since May 2022 is a clear indication of their Bazball approach, with a run rate close to five runs per over. While their quality is undeniable, they have faced challenges since Bumrah’s impact in the series.

Ben Stokes’ strategic acumen has also been instrumental, evident in his field placements and tactical moves on the field. His ability to create opportunities has been invaluable for England, even in seemingly unfavorable conditions.

England’s Bazballers have shown promise in the series so far, but adjustments to their approach may be necessary for individual success. Recklessness will not aid their cause, and flexibility in tactics could prove decisive in challenging situations.

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