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Zak Crawley opines on England batters’ strategy to sweep and reverse sweep against Indian spinners
By SMCS - Feb 2, 2024 8:20 am
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England opener Zak Crawley has said that the England batters’ execution of the sweep and reverse sweep against the Indian spinners is a method to counterattack the spinners. Considered underdogs before the five-match Test series in India, England beat India in the opening game by 28 runs as well. Despite not scoring big runs in both innings (20 and 31), Crawley played a key role in getting England off to a stunning start.

India England
India vs England

Speaking at a press conference in the build-up to the second Test, Crawley said, “I think sweeping and reverse sweeping when it’s spinning is a good option. It takes the spin out of plan. I think the reverse sweep is more common for us, because there’s just less field in there. They always seem to have two men out on the leg side. If they had two men out on the other side, we’d probably play the sweep…the reverse sweep comes probably just as naturally to us as the normal sweep.”

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He also opened up on how the Bazball method of aggressive batting comes naturally to the current team of English batters as well. However, the Bazball effect has been evident in the team and the right-handed batter scored at a strike rate of 88.46 in eight Tests last year as well.

“I suppose it (‘Bazball’) comes quite naturally as a lot of our teams are playing more aggressively,” he said. “The mindset when I first came to England was to backlight or take your time and build a long innings and I didn’t think that came naturally to me and a few of the others. A lot of us play a bit better under this regime.”

Team India
Team India

Meanwhile, the aggressive approach has seen England winning 14 of their last 19 Tests, including a 3-0 series sweep in Pakistan in 2022 as well. Zak Crawley also believes India are a strong team in their home conditions despite several key players missing out in the upcoming second Test as well. While Virat Kohli opted out of the first two Tests, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja have been ruled out due to injuries.

“They’re absolutely a top side in their own conditions. There are four games left, we have got to stick to what we do well and hopefully results come from there. Two very good players missing out but I’m sure looking at their depth they have two very good players coming in. So, that won’t change anything for us too much. We’re just trying to play the same, read the conditions on day one and see what happens for there. He is an incredible bowler. I think he bowls a yard fuller in India or bowls long yorkers and things like that. They have an unbelievable seam of attack, which you can’t take for granted,” Zak Crawley concluded.