What is Bazball?

what is bazball

In the light of recent India vs England Test series, and the events that unfolded in the last test match, a term called ‘Bazball’ has been spreading like wildfire on the internet. Some are saying that this might change the way red-ball cricket is played. 

After the Edgbaston test match, Indian cricket head coach Rahul Dravid was asked a question in the post-match interview on ‘what is his take on Bazball as a coach?’, to which he jokingly replied ‘I don’t really know what it is.’

So what is Bazball? We are here to tell you exactly that!

What is Bazball?

The term Bazball has been taken from New Zealand’s famous cricketer, and current England men’s test cricket team coach: Brendon McCullum. McCullum goes by the nickname of ‘Baz’ for his aggressive and fast-paced approach to a cricket game. 

Brendon McCullum - England cricket coach
Brendon ‘Baz’ McCullum

Bazball is an attacking approach to playing cricket, especially test cricket. In test cricket, batsmen play at a slower run rate and teams usually accept draws. But Bazball is designed to play the game as any other format, go for the win by attacking the bowlers, even at the risk of throwing wickets away.

McCullum believes that we need to think about test cricket in the longer run. For it to survive, the game needs to be more entertaining and fast-paced. Gone are the days when people would sit to watch 5 days of a cricket match, for it to end in a draw. 

India vs England Test Series

The term Bazball gained popularity after the India vs England test series, especially the final test match. India came to Birmingham leading the test series by 2-1. The final match was played at Edgbaston stadium in which the two teams scored a great number of runs. 

In the first innings, India scored a massive score of 416 runs on the board, with Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja bagging centuries. England replied with Bairstow firing a century as well but got all out on 284 runs.

Rishab Pant
Rishabh Pant celebrating his century

It seemed like India would clinch the series in the second innings, as they put up 245 runs and gave England a target of 378 runs, with about 150 overs left to play.

But the game turned completely, thanks to the modern approach of Bazball. Courtesy? Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, who scored centuries and led England all the way to end the series 2-2. 

While most teams could have played for a draw, England chose to take the high road of Bazball and went for the kill.  

For the first time, India lost a test match defending a 350+ runs target. 

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Jonny Bairstow

While McCullum may have been the one after whom the term Bazball is named. But Jonny Bairstow is the epitome of it, taking the England cricket team to another level. Bairstow has been in sublime form and is currently playing the best cricket of his career.  

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Jonny Bairstow continuing his fine form

The Yorkshireman has scored 614 runs including 4 centuries, with a batting average of 102.33 in 2022 already.

Jonny has been terrific when it comes to sealing Test run-chases in this English summer. The right-hand batter has played a key role in each one of England’s three-Test wins while chasing in the last month or so.

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After reading the blog, you must have known by now what Bazball is and how it is being implemented in cricket. This new technique to approach red-ball cricket is something that has the potential to change the game forever. While it does make the game more exciting and engaging, we will have to wait and see if all teams will be taking this approach to play test cricket. 

England was the one who introduced cricket to the world, and it will be no surprise if they are the ones to change the dynamics of the game!

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