Legendary England batter Geoffrey Boycott criticized England’s Bazball approach after their loss in the second Test in Visakhapatnam by 106 runs. Notably, the Ben Stokes-led side were set a target of 399 in the fourth innings but were bundled out for 292 as Jasprit Bumrah (3/46) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3/72) starred with the ball for India.
Commenting on England’s loss, Boycott launched a scathing attack on England’s Bazball approach and stated that head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes are obsessed with the attacking approach but there’s no glory in defeat.
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“Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes are besotted with attack, attack, attack. It’s as if they say ‘if we can’t win, we will go down in glorious failure instead.’ But there is no glory in failure or defeat,” Boycott wrote in his column on The Telegraph.
Further speaking ahead, Boycott said that England gave the match away as England’s best technical batter Joe Root batted out of his comfort zone and threw his wicket away.
“Bazball is great entertainment when it comes off. But once you believe in an ideal over substance, then you have lost the plot. Today England gave the match away. Bazball was a failure, it cost Joe Root his wicket. As soon as he came in, he was dancing down the pitch trying to hit it over the top and very soon swiped it up in the air,” he added.
“He only scored 16. England’s best technical batsman is normally a busy player who scores at a good rate, but trying to go after the bowling as soon as he comes in takes him out of his comfort zone. Twenty20 cricket seems to have got in their head and made them think that every ball must be scored off with an aggressive stroke, sweep, swipe or cross-batted shot,” he further said.
Joe Root averages 52.63 under Stokes and McCullum’s tenure
Notably, Joe Root hasn’t been in the best of forms in the series so far scoring 52 runs from four innings at an average of 13. The right-handed batter has been troubled by Jasprit Bumrah losing his wicket twice against the Indian seamer. The 33-year-old has been in sensational form since over the past four years being the leading run scorer in the longest format since 2020.
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Under Stokes-McCullum’s tenure, Root’s Test numbers haven’t been affected as well, as he has 1579 runs to his name from 35 innings at an average of 52.63 and a strike rate of 75.01 with five hundreds and seven fifties. However, he’s been struggling to find his rhythm on the turning tracks of India where he averages 43.65.
Ahead of the third Test beginning from February 15 at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot, England might bring a change in their tactics to allow their best batter to play in his own way as they look to make a comeback with the series tied 1-1.