‘To predetermine a way in Test cricket…’: AB de Villiers on ‘Bazball’ | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former South Africa cricketer AB de Villiers has entered the conversation surrounding England batter Joe Root‘s struggles and the team’s ‘Bazball‘ approach.
Root, known for his classical batting style, has come under scrutiny for his lack of runs in the ongoing five-Test series against India, accumulating only 77 runs in six innings.De Villiers shared his perspective on England’s ‘Bazball’ approach, acknowledging its entertainment value while also expressing caution about its potential drawbacks in the context of Test cricket.He highlighted the importance of adaptability and smart decision-making, particularly when facing challenging situations.
“I like what Bazball represents, which is aggressive cricket, but I have said this that I want players to confront different situations and that’s what Test cricket is all about. To predetermine a way you’re going to play in Test cricket is very dangerous.”
De Villiers pointed out the risks of a predetermined aggressive approach, especially after England’s dramatic collapse in the Rajkot Test where they squandered a commanding position.
The former South African cricketer emphasised the importance for England to prioritize playing the situation and adopt a sensible batting approach to enhance their chances of success in Test cricket.
“England just needed to bat normally to give themselves a chance to either draw or chase the total down in the fourth innings. They needed a big partnership and needed to play the situation, which unfortunately didn’t happen in that innings.”
De Villiers voiced concerns about Joe Root’s departure from his natural game, attributing it to the team’s aggressive ‘Bazball’ approach.
“When I played against him (Root), I felt he was one of the best Test batters I have ever played against. But that has changed and it’s because of Bazball. I know it’s a big statement but the ones that you find hardest to play against in Test match cricket are the ones who are hardest to get out. And now he is getting out on reverse sweeps and kind of blowing out of his norm. I don’t like that,” said De Villiers.
De Villiers, expressing admiration for Joe Root’s batting prowess, underscored the significance of Root playing to his strengths and being the linchpin of the batting lineup.
De Villiers suggested that players of Root’s caliber should be encouraged to adhere to their natural game and assume the role of anchoring the innings.
“Players like these (Root) should be told , ‘Listen, you just go out and play your natural game. You’re the glue of this batting line-up.’ Let Ben Duckett or Ben Stokes play aggressively. Let Root bat long,” he added.
Root’s dismissals, including a contentious reverse-sweep off Jasprit Bumrah, have raised questions about his approach at the crease. With Bumrah having dismissed Root nine times in Test cricket, the absence of the star speedster in the upcoming Ranchi Test presents an opportunity for Root to rediscover his form and silence his critics.
(With IANS inputs)

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