'India didn't kill Bazball. England gave them a real headache': Ashes great's strong claim as England face West Indies | Crickit
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'India didn't kill Bazball. England gave them a real headache': Ashes great's strong claim as England face West Indies

Jul 10, 2024 05:52 PM IST

India registered a comprehensive 4-1 Test series win over England at home earlier this year.

England returned to action in the longest format of the game during the Test series against West Indies on July 10. The first Test, taking place in Lord's, also marks the final international appearance of legendary pacer James Anderson. England last played in the format in India, where the side toured for a five-Test series; despite a victorious start, the English team faltered to a 1-4 series defeat.

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates the wicket of England's skipper Ben Stokes during India vs England Test series(ANI )
Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates the wicket of England's skipper Ben Stokes during India vs England Test series(ANI )

The side's much-talked-about ‘Bazball’ approach fell flat in Indian conditions, and Ben Stokes' men were severely criticised for not adapting to situations. As the side resumes its Test action in home conditions against West Indies, former England fast bowler Steve Harmison talked in detail about England's approach going into the series.

In a discussion on the side's aggressive style of play, and whether India ‘killed’ the approach during the Test series this year, Harmison insisted that Rohit Sharma's men played ‘smarter’ than their counterparts, which doesn't necessarily mean the end of Bazball. Harmison stated that India took advantage of their home conditions and reaped the rewards.

“I thought they (England) played excellent cricket in India. They gave India some real headaches. But then, all of a sudden, when you get to a point that you go, 'oh no, they've done it again'. How many times you see a crash of wickets? That's the problem, where you need to read a room. You can't have everything in an ideal world. The way these red ball players play now, it's far better than what it was in the previous regime,” Harmison told talkSPORT cricket.

“I don't think India killed Bazball. I think India played better cricket in their own backyard. They made smarter decisions under pressure. But I think there were definitely times during those five Test matches where England gave India a real headache. And not many teams have done that to India in India,” said the former England pacer further.

England opt to bowl

In the series opener at Lord's on Wednesday, James Anderson bowled on the first day of his 188th and final Test match after England won the toss and opted to field against the West Indies.

Anderson, the most successful fast bowler in Test cricket history with 700 wickets, is the third-highest wicket-taker in the format's history, only behind Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and Shane Warne (708).

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