Zaheer Khan Questions England’s ‘Bazball’ Approach As India-England Test Series Looms
By CricShots - Jan 20, 2024 6:44 pm
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As the much-anticipated five-match Test series between India and England approaches, veteran Indian pacer Zaheer Khan and former cricketers Pragyan Ojha and Parthiv Patel share their insights on England’s playing approach, conditions, and strategies for success. Zaheer Khan expressed curiosity about England’s ‘Bazball’ approach, emphasizing that the series will shed light on whether England maintains the same fearless style in Indian conditions.

England team
England team

England, under the captaincy of Ben Stokes, aims to break their 10-year Test series win drought on Indian soil. However, the formidable challenge lies in India’s dominance at home, having won 16 consecutive Test series since their 2012 loss to England.

“Bazball will remain in focus, and we’ll see whether England’s approach will remain the same. The kind of pitches that we’ll be playing on will also be another point of discussion for sure. But both teams will be eager to prove their supremacy,” said Zaheer Khan.

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Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha expressed skepticism about England’s Bazball strategy working effectively in Indian conditions against quality spinners. He highlighted the difficulty of executing Bazball against Indian spinners and pacers like Jasprit Bumrah, emphasizing the need for England to have backup plans tailored for the unique challenges of Indian pitches.

Parthiv Patel, the former India wicketkeeper-batter, shared his belief that India will aim for a clean sweep in the Test series to bolster their position in the World Test Championship (WTC) standings.

Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan

Patel dismissed the notion of India needing to alter their approach and suggested that visiting teams, like England, must adapt with different strategies. He expressed doubts about Bazball succeeding in India due to the spinning conditions and the high-quality spin attack featuring Ashwin, Jadeja, Axar, and Kuldeep.

“I think the Indian team will aim for 5-0. I think they need a 4-0 win to get to the top of the WTC standings. It remains to be seen whether Bazball will work here or not. If the ball spins, I don’t think it will work here because there’s too much quality in India’s spin attack,” Parthiv Patel remarked.

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Looking ahead to the series, Patel emphasized the importance of the toss and first-innings runs, noting that each venue will have its unique characteristics. The series is set to commence on January 25 in Hyderabad, followed by matches in Visakhapatnam (February 2-6), Rajkot (February 15-19), Ranchi (February 23-27), and Dharamshala (March 7-11). Patel concluded that winning the toss would be crucial, and first-innings runs will play a decisive role in determining success.