‘Bazball is not about being arrogant but…’: Joe Root | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Senior England batter Joe Root defended his team’s “Bazball” approach in Test cricket, stating that it is not about arrogance but rather aimed at achieving the best results for the team. The term “Bazball” is a reference to the aggressive approach associated with coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.
After England’s record 434-run loss to India in the third Test in Rajkot, there was widespread criticism of their ultra-aggressive tactics. Root, however, emphasised that the team’s approach is about seeking success and not rooted in arrogance.
Root’s statement suggests that the team is focused on playing positive and attacking cricket to achieve favorable outcomes.
“There have been times recently when the best way to do that is by being a bit more aggressive. It’s like if I connect with that shot and execute it better, (Jasprit) Bumrah will be under pressure and our outlook on the game is very different again.
“It’s not about being arrogant… Bazball is a word that’s used a lot but that’s your word, that’s not how we look at it,” Root told reporters after the end of second day’s play in the fourth Test in Ranchi.
“It’s about how we can get the best out of each other as a team, how we’re going to get better as a group. You’re not always going to get it right but we’ll continue to keep trying to improve.”
Root highlighted the significance of adaptation and evolution as a batsman to counter the skills of world-class bowlers. The ability to adapt to different conditions and evolve one’s technique is crucial for a batter facing top-quality bowlers.
“The reason I’ve played as many games as I have is that I’ve not wanted to stand still as a player, I have to try to keep evolving. If you keep on playing the same way over and over again, teams work you out, figure you out and find your weaknesses.
“They are world-class bowlers for a reason and there’s a lot of information out there. So if you don’t try to get better and find different ways of scoring runs, you’ll get found out.
“You’re not always going to get it right but if you’re not willing to make mistakes every now and then and sometimes get it wrong it doesn’t matter anyway because they’re still going to find you out.”
Root made a significant impact with an unbeaten 122 from 274 balls, staging a classical Test match innings that played a crucial role in England’s recovery. The team bounced back from a challenging position of 112 for 5 at lunch on day one to post a total of 353.
In response, India faced a challenging task, and by stumps on Saturday, they were 219 for 7. The slow wicket, coupled with unusually low bounce, presented difficulties for the batsmen. Despite a valiant effort, India still trailed by 134 runs, reflecting the impact of England’s recovery and Root’s substantial contribution with the bat.
“It felt like it’s been a long time coming, it’s been a lean series individually for me. You pride yourself as a senior player, especially with the history I’ve had in this part of the world, to try and make contributions that put you in positions to win games.
“It’s been disappointing but the fact I have got quite a lot of experience has been able to keep me calm and trust the stuff I am doing. The way I’m preparing meant it was going to come at some point. It was nice to do it yesterday when we were in the situation we were in at lunchtime.”
‘Brilliant Bashir’
The young spinner, Shoaib Bashir, showcased an impressive performance by claiming four wickets in a marathon spell that extended over 31 overs.
This remarkable feat spanned across all three sessions of the game. Bashir’s dedication and endurance were evident as he bowled one over before lunch and continued to operate non-stop in the remaining two sessions, delivering a total of 32 overs.
“The way he bowls is a great little insight into his character and personality, he is quite cheeky and great fun to be around.
“There’s clearly a huge amount of skill in what he does, as he proved with the way he bowled for not just small spells but for a long period of time,” Root said.
“To be able to continually put pressure on some very good players of spin, I know the wicket was helpful at times, but he did an amazing job and it’s a great sign for English cricket moving forward. You do have to work in partnerships and Tommy (Hartley) was excellent alongside him, too.”
Root is confident that England have the edge in the match.
“We’ve got ourselves into a nice position at the end of the first innings. Obviously, it looks like it (pitch) is going to keep deteriorating and keep getting worse.
“So if we can get three early wickets tomorrow, hopefully that puts us in a really strong position for the rest of the game,” he signed off.
(With PTI inputs)

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