Home Estate Planning Great England win in India an ode to Bazball revolution of Test cricket

Great England win in India an ode to Bazball revolution of Test cricket

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To the Ben Stokes cynics, Brendon McCullum moaners and the Bazball beraters, what have you got to say for yourselves now? England have done a job on India, in India, sticking to their core values of trust, bravery and togetherness.

Few, if any, would have looked at the 190-run deficit at the half-way stage and seen a path to victory for Stokes’s men given their failure to press home an impressive first-innings runs total.

Their bowling was flat and their fielding attracted mockery early on in the first innings, but as the final over of the fourth day of the first Test in Hyderabad was bowled it was England who claimed a famous 28-run win on the Subcontinent.


England stars of show

It is only India’s fourth loss in 47 Test matches at home since 2013. England have two of those scarce victories, and it is the biggest ever win in India for a touring side based on the deficit after the first innings.

England may go on to lose the five-match series 4-1 in similar fashion to their 2021 tour – in which they went 1-0 up before losing 3-1 – but they’ve demonstrated their ability to take a radical form of cricket theory and practise it successfully the world over.

It has seen them win in New Zealand, Pakistan and now India. What a feat that is for a style of the five-day game few had even attempted before the days of McCullum at England.

Bazball has made Test cricket sexy again, and whether in defeat or victory it has fans on the edge of their seats, often for four or five days, awaiting the next crazy moment.

And yesterday in Hyderabad those moments came in their droves. Olle Pope and his sublime 196 – falling just short of an incredible double century – was up there with one of the great overseas batting performances on Indian soil; Tom Hartley’s incredible seven-for, having struggled in the first innings; Stokes’s impeccable stumping of Ravindra Jadeja as he fell to the floor; and Jack Leach taking wickets despite an injury.

Trust the process

The opening Test was a sublime example in backing the plan and trusting the process, despite the revolted expressions that tend to come with such buzz phrases.

England were unbalanced in the selection, seemingly written off, and looked down and out after the second day but they have pulled off an incredible result in India.

McCullum said before the Test series that the host country was the land of opportunity for Bazball.

“When we started out on this journey a fair while ago we wanted to provide as much entertainment as we possibly can,” he said.

“We felt that gave us the best chance as well. What better stage to do it on – against India, in India?

“There’ll be many eyeballs watching around the world and it’s a huge opportunity for us. India is the land of opportunity, and that’s what sits in front of us now. That’s the exciting thing. How long the games go I’ve no idea, but I’m sure both teams will stick to their respective styles.

“Throughout the Ashes, it was two heavyweights going at it with different styles, and I expect it to be the same in this series.”

And how vindicated he must feel. Elsewhere in the cricketing world, the West Indies recorded their first win over Australia Down Under this century – it was a day of away teams really showing up against favoured home sides.

So England travel on to Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala looking to go 2-0 ahead and then claim the series. It would be an incredible achievement for such an alien style of Test cricket, but that is the attraction of Bazball: win or lose you cannot take your eyes off it.

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