Ashwin opines on England’s Bazball approach

India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has opened up on the famous ‘Bazball’ approach, saying that England’s new strategy in Test cricket will not be sustainable in the long run. The term Bazball is in reference to the Three Lions’ new red-ball approach ever since coach Brendon McCullum and star all-rounder Ben Stokes have been at the helm of affairs.

Ashwin was not a part of the playing XI for the rescheduled fifth Test match against England earlier this month. Prior to that, the senior spinner had tested COVID-19 positive before the team’s departure to England as a result of which he could not travel with the Indian Test team. The 35-year-old, subsequently, joined the squad in Leicester ahead of the warm-up game against Leicestershire.

I think we need to be careful about this brand of cricket: Ravichandran Ashwin

“It was amazing to watch, but as a bowler, it is quite scary to think where the game is headed. I definitely think the ball and the pitches have a role to play in how England are playing, permitting a certain brand of cricket,” said R Ashwin on the Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast.

“I think we need to be careful about this brand of cricket being the way forward. Test cricket has been the same for hundreds of years and there will be games and series that are played like that. Whether it’s the same brand of cricket you play all along is very debatable,” he added.

The Bazball approach has paid off really well in the last couple of months, with England blanking the reigning World Test Champions New Zealand 3-0 and then going on to register a thumping seven-wicket win over India in the rescheduled Test match.

The Three Lions have yet another chance to continue their splendid run as they get set to host South Africa for three Test matches starting August 17. However, McCullum’s and Stokes’ real character will be put to test when they visit Pakistan for three Tests in November-December this year.