The term ‘Bazball’ has been trending a lot lately in the cricketing community. Cricket fans and experts are taken over by this new style of playing test cricket. It has been proved to be highly entertaining and engaging for the fans. Ben Stokes, England Test Captain, said at the toss that he is confident of his team chasing down target in the fourth innings. This is the kind of statement that has never been made by any test captain in over 140 years of history of this format. Arguably, this approach of playing Test Cricket is the most fascinating this format has ever witnessed.
Brendon McCullum, the inventor of this new concept, was asked about this approach. While he stated it upfront that he really didn’t like the term ‘Bazball’, he made it quite clear that this approach is not all ‘crash and burn’. Also, he spoke from a business point of view of the sport. Mentioning the fact that people don’t have as much time now as earlier, this new approach to playing the game might bring more crowds to games.
Mark Boucher, South Africa’s Head Coach, was asked about his views on ‘Bazball’. The former South African wicket-keeper was supportive of the concept, saying that it’s probably the direction where test cricket is heading. However, he stated that the conditions have allowed England to play that way. Whether they can play the same way overseas is something Boucher is doubtful of.
Boucher’s Analysis On England’s ‘Bazball’ Play
“It’s probably the way that red-ball cricket is going,” Boucher said. “If you look at the introduction of T20 cricket, the run-rates have increased in red-ball cricket. There’s going to be times where the conditions don’t allow you to play that way but if the conditions allow you to play that way, I’m sure that you’re going to see batting line-ups try and put bowlers under pressure.
The conditions have allowed for England to play that way. That’s just about being smart and assessing conditions on the day. If you see a moment to really put the hammer down, we’ve seen how it can pay off, as England have shown us. I do think Test cricket is going that way.
It’s probably a little bit of an advantage to us in a way to have seen and we can expect them to come out and play the same brand of cricket that they are playing. A couple of things you need to understand is that you need to have the right players in your team to be able to do that, and the conditions need to be favorable as well.”