Bazball is overhyped: Kris Srikkanth makes a scathing assessment of England's tactics

February 20, 2024
Krishnamachari Srikkanth has dissed the Bazball tactics employed by England in Tests under the management of head coach Brendon McCullum and skipper Ben Stoke

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) Known for his no-holds-barred aggressive batting, former India captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth has dissed the Bazball tactics employed by England in Tests under the management of head coach Brendon McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes, which has seen them trail India 1-2 after winning the first Test in the five-match series.

With two more matches to go, Srikkanth delivered a scathing assessment of England’s chances in the ongoing Test series against India, dismissing any hope of a comeback following their resounding defeat in the Rajkot Test.

After a stunning victory in the series opener in Hyderabad, England slumped to consecutive losses in Visakhapatnam and Rajkot, the latest setback, a crushing 434-run defeat in the third Test has cast doubts on the efficacy of England’s Bazball approach on Indian pitches.

Srikkanth, a proponent of the slam-bang style of batting in a period when staying at the pitch for hours was the norm, ridiculed the Bazball strategy as “overhyped” and even suggested facetiously that England might consider catching the next flight home to avoid further humiliation. He expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of such tactics, emphasizing the need for skill and talent to succeed in challenging conditions.

“If possible, they can catch the next flight home. But, they have to play the remaining two Tests. I think this Bazball and all that are theories that they propagated. Where has it worked? Did it work in the Ashes? Frankly speaking, no strategy can work if they continue playing like this. There was so much hype about this Bazball theory. To back up all that talk, I think they needed the skill to bat in these conditions. You need the talent to bowl,” said Srikkanth on his YouTube channel.

England have won 14 of their 21 Tests, including home series wins against New Zealand and South Africa and a 3-0 whitewash of Pakistan in Pakistan.

Despite England’s impressive record under coach Brendon McCullum’s Bazball philosophy, including notable victories against formidable opponents, Srikkanth remained unconvinced of its sustainability. While acknowledging individual success for certain players like Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett, the 1983 World Cup winner questioned the long-term viability of the aggressive batting approach.

“I don’t think it (Bazball) will work in the long run. Just go there and try and hit every ball…I think Brendon McCullum can bat like that, Ben Stokes can bat like that. Not everybody can do that successfully. Sometimes, you need to adapt. I feel it’s overhyped. That’s my feeling. I may be wrong,” said Srikkanth.

Srikkanth’s critique comes at a critical juncture for England, whose hopes of salvaging the series rest on the upcoming Test in Ranchi starting on Friday. With their recent track record in Test cricket raising concerns, England faces an uphill battle to level the series against a formidable Indian side.



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