England will tour India for a five-match Test series starting on January 25 with the first Test being played in Hyderabad. India have not lost a Test series at home since the defeat against England in 2012, where Alastair Cook and his men defeated the hosts 2-1 in the four-match Test series. However, the former captain has shown some faith in the England team and has banked on their chances of winning the series against India.
Alastair Cook remained optimistic about England’s chances, confident in his ‘Bazball’ approach, which encourages an attacking style of play from the start in Test cricket.
This approach was a huge success during England’s tour of Pakistan in 2022-23, where they claimed a 3-0 victory. However, with the same approach, they tied the Ashes in England in 2023 by 2-2. It is also a notable factor that ‘Bazball’ is yet to lose a Test series.
Alastair Cook believes this is the best opportunity for England to taste success on Indian soil as they will not follow the traditional rules of batting in subcontinental conditions.
The ‘Bazball’ style of play is based on the aggressive style of red ball format cricket. Taking on the bowler from the first ball and making big runs in Test cricket is the most unorthodox style, but it has worked its magic for England in the longest format.
“Now I think it’s his best chance for success. They will not follow the traditional rules of batting in the subcontinent,” Alastair Cook said. He explained that the key moment for a batsman in the subcontinent is the first 30 balls, where acclimatization is crucial. After 30 balls, if the player is prepared, he can face the bowlers with full load and can make many runs putting pressure on the fielding team.
However, ‘Bazball”s approach is to bat aggressively from the start, which puts the fielding team at a disadvantage and the batsmen capitalize by putting lots of runs on the board.
Alastair Cook believes ‘Bazball’ will unsettle Indian bowlers
Alastair Cook expressed curiosity about India’s response to England’s ‘Bazball’ style of play, suggesting it could unsettle the Indian bowlers.
While acknowledging the challenges posed by a lack of match preparation, Cook’s confidence in England’s ‘Bazball’ approach remains a ray of hope for the visiting team as they embark on a challenging tour of India.
However, India might not be the best place for a Bazball approach as there are range changes in India which can be very unsettling for English batsmen.
England’s record on curvy tracks has not been the best among different countries and India is the center of very high curving tracks which can prove disastrous for England’s Bazball approach.
India have included some of the best spinners in their team like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav. It will be interesting to see England’s approach against such a strong line-up. They are the last team to beat India at home in a Test series and have the potential to repeat history after 12 years.