Cricket-Former England captains tear into 'Bazball or bust' approach

  • Cricket
  • Monday, 19 Feb 2024

Cricket - Third Test - India v England - Niranjan Shah Stadium, Rajkot, India - February 18, 2024 England's Ben Stokes in action REUTERS/Amit Dave

(Reuters) - Former England captains aimed both barrels at the team's high-wire 'Bazball' approach in the wake of their thrashing by India in the third test on Sunday and called for Ben Stokes' side to temper their aggressive strategy to avoid further humiliation.

England lost by 434 runs in Rajkot to go 2-1 down in the five-match series, with the heavy defeat prompting questions about the attacking blueprint laid out for the side by skipper Stokes and head coach Brendon 'Baz' McCullum.

"This England team are hell bent on doing things their way, and 'saving test cricket'. They are giving test cricket a shot in the arm because they are so exciting," Michael Vaughan wrote in Britain's Daily Telegraph.

"But ultimately they have to be better than that now. They didn't win in New Zealand, they didn't win the Ashes, and if they carry on like this, they are going to lose in India. As a team, you are judged on series victories."

Michael Atherton said opener Ben Duckett's "the more the better" comments after the third day regarding a realistic target England could chase down were fanciful.

"One can admire the positivity and playfulness of Ben Duckett and this England team — such were his comments on the third evening — while also questioning their occasional self-delusion," Atherton wrote in the Times.

"Careful husbandry of resources is not the Bazball way. They have been profligate in the extreme in this match, wasting a golden opportunity to build on Duckett's brilliant second-day hundred and to achieve parity or more on first innings.

"They were forced to take some bitter medicine as a consequence on a stifling and totally demoralising fourth day in Rajkot."

Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Nasser Hussain said England must learn from their mistakes.

"If England don't consider tweaks, Bazball just becomes a cult that can't be questioned," he added. "I am not asking them to alter their mantra, just to review the last couple of matches and ask themselves: 'how can we improve?'"

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, English umpire Richard Kettleborough said: "R.I.P Bazball. England has been humiliated."

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Cricket

Cricket-Rahul can play himself into World Cup spot with IPL heroics, says Uthappa
Cricket-England's Archer desperate to avoid another stop-start year
Cricket-India's Pant boosts his World Cup hopes with keeping masterclass
Cricket-Australian Law appointed US head coach ahead of T20 World Cup
Cricket-Ex-Australia skipper Lanning details health issues she faced before international retirement
Cricket-Windies' Powell trying to coax Narine out of retirement for home World Cup
Cricket-Head says Hyderabad eyeing 300, Bengaluru's Maxwell takes a break
Cricket-Former Australia batsman Slater refused bail on domestic violence charges
Cricket-Hyderabad again break IPL record for highest total
Cricket-England's highest wicket-taking spinner Underwood dies at 78

Others Also Read