Former English cricketer Geoffrey Boycott shot down the “Bazball” theory after England’s loss to India in the second Test in Vizag. England won the first Test by 28 and were leading the series heading into the second Test.
England lost the second Test by 106 runs after failing to chase 399 for victory. They were bowled out for 292 in the second innings and Zak Crawley was the top scorer with 76 in the second innings. England lost the wickets of Ollie Pope, Joe Root and Ben Stokes at key moments of the game to hand the initiative to India.
England needed 332 runs and had nine wickets in hand. There was talk of England’s challenge to finish the match on the fourth day. However, as it turned out, England lost by a wide margin.
“Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes are obsessed with attack, attack, attack. It’s as if they were saying, “If we can’t win, we will fall into glorious failure.” But there is no glory in failure or defeat,” Boycott wrote in his column in The Telegraph.
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Bazball was a flop in Vizag: Geoffrey boycotted England defeat
“Bazball is great entertainment when it comes on. But once you believe in an ideal over substance, then you’ve lost the plot. Today England gave the game away. Bazball was a flop,” Boycott wrote in his column.
Furthermore, he blamed Bazball as the reason why Joe Root lost his wicket as early as he did. Wickets by Pope, Jonny Bairstow and Crawley on the stroke of lunch pushed back England’s chances of victory even further.
“Scoring five overs was entertaining, but a lot of batsmen gave away their wickets after good starts. The best way to achieve a total of almost 400 is for one of the batsmen to score a hundred. Looking for good bowlers and scoring quickly comes with risks. Bazball cost Joe Root his wicket.
“As soon as he came in, he was dancing around the court trying to hit it over the top and pretty soon he threw it into the air. He only scored 16. England’s best technical batsman is normally a busy player who scores at a good pace, but trying to go after the bowling as soon as he comes in takes him out of his comfort zone,” Boycott wrote in his column.
The veteran England cricketer further said that running T20-style cricket in Test cricket was the main cause of their defeat in the second Test against India. Furthermore, he urged visitors to play with common sense and understanding.
“It seems that Twenty20 cricket got into their heads and made them think that every ball should be scored with an aggressive hit, sweep, hit or cross-court shot. Twenty20 is cricket’s answer to baseball, where you’re always trying for a big hit. England’s batting resembled Twenty20. But why can’t our team play positively and with common sense? Batting has always been about being able to adapt to circumstances, be it the conditions or the opponents. Choose your moments to attack and defend,” Boycott concluded.
England takes a break in Abu Dhabi after the defeat in Vizag. The third Test begins in Rajkot on February 15.
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