Sat. Feb 24th, 2024



England have been pretty vocal about their successful ‘Bazball‘ tactics ever since former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, nicknamed ‘Baz’, took over the coaching job of the English Test team. But batting legend Sunil Gavaskar believes that India has ‘Viratball‘ to counter the visiting team’s aggressive approach to Test cricket.
“With Virat Kohli, he has as a similar amount of hundreds and fifties (in Tests). That means he has a good conversion rate. The way he’s been batting, his movement looks good. With the form that he’s in, we have Viratball to counter Bazball,” said Gavaskar, Speaking to Star Sports ahead of the first Test that begins January 25 in Hyderabad.
Kohli has scored 29 centuries and 30 fifties in Test cricket, which is what Gavaskar pointed at to indicate that Kohli’s consistency and conversion rate could be the decisive factor in the upcoming five-match Test series.
Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala will host the next four Tests. The last Test series between the two teams had ended in a 2-2 draw.
In the World Test Championship table for the ongoing cycle, India are No. 2 and England languish at No. 7.
Talking further about ‘Bazball’, Gavaskar said the approach will face a stiff challenge against Indian spinners with home advantage.
“It’s an aggressive approach where batters look to attack. They just want to play attacking cricket no matter the situation. It’ll be interesting to see if this approach works against the spinners of India,” Gavaskar reckoned.
The word ‘Bazball’ was coined by Andrew Miller, the UK editor of the ESPNCricinfo website, in May 2022, after McCullum was appointed the coach of England’s Test team.
The term has been recognized by Harper Collins as one of the 10 most significant new words of the year in 2023.
The definition for the word in the Collins dictionary reads: “a style of Test cricket in which the batting side plays in a highly aggressive manner”.
India squad for first two Tests vs England
Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Avesh Khan





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