India vs England: Will Bazball work in India?

By Vipin - 2024-01-21 11:47:09
India vs England: Will Bazball work in India?

The England team will reach Hyderabad today to play a 5-Test series in India. Where the team has to play the first match after 3 days from 25th January. The English team has won 72% of the tests in the last 19 months with its attacking batting approach, which has come to be known as 'Bazball'.

The baseball era in the England team started after Ben Stokes became the captain and Brendon McCullum became the coach. Under the leadership of these two, the team remained invincible in the last 5 test series. But the biggest challenge to England's baseball model will begin now. When the team will face world class spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on the spin pitches of India.

What is bazball

There is no official baseball theory in the cricket book, but it was named to reflect the new attacking approach of the England Test team. Baseball is made up of two words, badge and ball. 'Badge' is the nickname of England's Test team head coach Brendon McCullum and 'Ball' is an element of cricket, without which the game is not possible. By combining these two words, 'Baseball' was created.

McCullum is a former New Zealand cricketer and he used to bat very attackingly during his career. While opening, he used to focus only on hitting big shots from the first to the last ball. His strategy has now been adopted by the England Test team under the captaincy of Ben Stokes.


Usually in Tests, teams take time to score runs very slowly, but under the leadership of Stokes and McCullum, the England team is scoring runs very fast in Tests too. Since June 2022, the team has scored runs at a strike rate of around 76. During this period, the strike rate of other teams remained between 45 to 56.

Stokes took command after the most successful English captain Root

Ben Stokes took command of the English Test team after Joe Root left the captaincy. Root captained England in the maximum number of 64 matches and also won the team 27 Tests, the most in comparison to other captains, but under his captaincy the team could win only one out of the last 17 matches. 5 matches were drawn, while the team had to face defeat in 11.

Captain Root's poor form also started from the India tour in 2021, where the team lost the Test series 3-1. After the poor performance of the team, Root left the captaincy in May-2022, after which Stokes was made the new captain. In May itself, Brendon McCullum also got the post of head coach of the English Test team.

Won 13 out of 18 tests, did not lose a single series

With the formation of the pair of Stokes and McCullum, England adopted an attacking approach in batting, which is now being called baseball and on the basis of baseball, England won 13 out of 18 tests. That means the winning percentage was 72.2%. The team lost only 4 matches, while one match was a draw. Within 18 months, Stokes also joined the top-10 Test captains of England.

Following the baseball strategy, England played a total of 5 series against South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Pakistan. The team won 3 series, while the series against Australia and New Zealand were drawn. During this period, the team won one test each against India and Ireland.

Won 9 out of first 10 tests


Baseball started with a clean sweep over New Zealand

Under the leadership of Stokes and McCullum, England played its first Test series at home against New Zealand. The team won the series 3-0 by defeating the Kiwis in two matches by 5 wickets and one by 7 wickets.

Did not allow India to win the series

England then played a Test at home against India. Which was the last match of the 5 Test series that started in 2021. India was leading the series 2-1 and close to a series win, but England achieved the target of 378 at the loss of just 3 wickets and India had to return home with the result of a drawn series.

Made a comeback after losing the first test against South Africa

South Africa is one of the best teams to play Test in England. The team went to England in August and defeated the home team in the first Test by an innings and 12 runs. After the match, Stokes just said that there are 2 Tests left in the series. After this, England won the second test by an innings and 85 runs and the third test by 9 wickets and won the series 2-1.

India is the biggest challenge of Bazball

Till now the baseball approach has faced problems only due to New Zealand's pitch and Australia's bowling attack, but the biggest challenge of the team is the spin friendly pitches of India, the conditions here and the top class spinners of Team India. English batsmen have been able to score runs freely only on flat pitches, whereas in India neither flat pitches nor weak bowlers will be available.


If we look at the trend of the last 3 years, the ball starts rolling in India from day one. From the point of view of the World Test Championship, India would like to win the series 5-0 and it is possible that this time too the ball may turn from the first day. Which will prove to be the most challenging for England's baseball approach.

By the way, England is the only team to win a Test series in India in the last 14 years. The team won the 4 Test series 2-1 in 2012 under the captaincy of Alastair Cook. But since then the team has come to India twice and won only one match. Under the captaincy of Joe Root, the team lost 2 series by a margin of 4-0 and 3-1.

Also Read: India defeated Australia 2 years ago today in a historic moment

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