After England’s 1-4 Test series defeat against India, questions have arisen about the future of Bazball, the aggressive style of play employed by England. Despite concerns back in England, Indian cricketer R Ashwin remains optimistic, asserting that the Bazball method has a future. This perspective suggests that despite setbacks, the aggressive approach favored by England still holds potential for success in cricket, indicating a continued evolution of the sport’s strategies and tactics.

“So many people have commented that they lost 1-4, but in my opinion, we really came under immense pressure in the series. If the team manages to get the right balance, it is bound for success,” R Ashwin, who claimed nine wickets in the final India versus England Test, said on his YouTube channel.

Ravichandran Ashwin had much to celebrate during the five-match Test series against England, as he reached significant milestones in his cricket career. Playing in his 100th Test match, R Ashwin surpassed the remarkable 500-wicket mark, a testament to his skill and longevity in the sport. Despite facing pressure from England, India showcased resilience and determination, overcoming the inexperience of some players to secure victories in the final four Tests after losing the first one. These feat underscores India’s depth and adaptability as a team, as they navigated challenges to emerge triumphant in the series.

Ravichandran Ashwin highlighted a flaw in the Bazball method, exemplified by England opener Zak Crawley’s dismissal in the first innings of the Dharamsala Test. Crawley, attempting to drive a delivery from spinner Kuldeep Yadav, was bowled for 79. This instance emphasizes a potential weakness in the aggressive approach advocated by Bazball, wherein players may take unnecessary risks in pursuit of dominance.

“Kuldeep’s Zak Crawley dismissal was a beauty. He had hit a boundary between covers and mid off just on over back. So he was in good flow. The gap still existed as bait for him. He tried again, got cramped and the ball passed between his gates. He had already hit four-five boundaries. It’s not that we bowled fuller suddenly. When such high-risk shot is played, he loses his wicket. Crawley’s scores in 60s and 70s are pearls that missed becoming a hundred because of his high-risk cricket.”

“Test cricket, or any other form of cricket for that matter, cannot be played like an airplane on a runway. We cannot step on the pedal and accelerate till we take off! It’s the same as driving on highways. Sometimes, when I think of it, is it because of how they drive in England? Driving in England is bliss. No one comes in between. You can keep driving in the same lane. We cannot overtake on the left. They never expect unexpected things. If they see something unexpected, they crash. I have a feeling they will be very confused if they see how we drive in India,” R Ashwin stated grinning.

He continued, “In India you cannot always drive in the fourth gear. We keep changing gears. We always keep one foot on the brake. This concept is alien to them! Crawley always gets momentum, but cannot keep it going. Bazball is about the transfer of pressure onto the opponents. But after the transfer of pressure, what happens? They should be like, ‘we have to make them pay!’ If they manage to do that, then the game is on. This series would have gone their way with the inexperience we had (in our ranks). They had a huge chance. Even before they came here, they were down 0-2 in the Ashes and levelled it at 2-2. They then plundered Pakistan at their home. But this series loss is something that Ben Stokes and Co could learn from.”


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