Sunil Gavaskar, the legendary Indian batsman, has advocated ‘Viratball’ to counter England’s much-discussed ‘Bazball’ strategy in the five-Test series, which begins in Hyderabad on January 25.
England’s Test cricket performance since captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum joined forces has definitely spiced things up. By removing the fear of failure, the England men’s team has played free-flowing cricket and has not been afraid to make bold decisions even in the most difficult circumstances, a strategy known as Bazball.
However, commentators have branded the next series in India as the most difficult assignment for Ben Stokes’ men, since no visiting team has defeated India in a series in India since an Alastair Cook-led side triumphed 2-1 in 2012-13.
India’s five-match Test series against England is one of the most anticipated of the year, not just because of the skill of the players involved, but also because of England’s “Bazball” cricket under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.
There have been worries about the England team’s ability to play the same brand of cricket on turning surfaces in India, and the follow-up to that intriguing debate is how India would react if they succeed. Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar said, “We have Viratball to counter Bazball.”
“The way he’s (Virat Kohli) been batting, his movement looks good,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
Kohli, however, did not score many runs in South Africa compared to his usual standards on spicy wickets with seam moment and invariable bounce. But he stood out from the other hitters and has an incredible capacity to score big when he gets a start.
“Yes, converting entails having more hundreds than fifties. He has a comparable number of hundreds and fifties as Kohli (29 centuries and 30 half-centuries), indicating a high conversion rate,” Gavaskar added.
“England has taken a different approach to Test cricket in the past 1-2 years. Batters have an aggressive attitude, looking to assault. They just want to play aggressive cricket regardless of the scenario. “It will be interesting to see if this approach works against India’s spinners,” Gavaskar remarked.
England will begin their series in Hyderabad, followed by games in Vishakhapatnam, Rajkot, and Ranchi, with the final Test in Dharamshala.