Former English Cricketer makes a bold prediction about Indian Cricket:
Currently, the most debated topic in the cricket world is none other than the out-of-the-box Bazball approach introduced by the English Head coach Brendon McCullum and Captain Ben Stokes. The same approach saw the English pulling off a historic win in Rawalpindi. The kind of win both teams will remember for a long time – England with triumph and Pakistan as a somber memory. The former English cricketer, David Lloyd said that the approach took the Pakistani team especially their Skipper by surprise.
“I think Pakistan were spooked by that declaration from Stokes. The onus was on them to go for it and they did show positive intent for a large part of their chase but towards the end I’m not sure whether they knew whether they knew whether to stick or twist. I don’t think anyone expected Stokes to call England in at tea on the fourth day, certainly not Babar Azam.”
The Three Lions, following the script of Bazball, intelligently and positively played every ball with a mindset to avoid draw at all costs and even took geniously calculated risks to achieve their objective. The brains of the game ever since can not stop talking about how other teams can incorporate this strategy which has so far produced flawless results. In the same context, the English all rounder stated that among the present-day teams India is the one which can successfully adopt this approach if they give the reins to Virat Kohli. Terming this technique as something teams back in the day have followed too, Lloyd said, “It is not totally new, of course. The Australian team of the 90s were very positive and the great West Indian sides were full of exhilarating stroke-makers.”
“I reckon a team capable of this style now is India. They have all the tools. There has been a suspicion that Indian batters are stats driven but Virat Kohli is one who could drive this.”
Virat Kohli has led the men in blue in Tests from 2015 to 2022 and under his leadership the Indian team achieved some commendable achievements. The exuberant batter has captained the Indian team in 68 matches, more than any of his compatriots. In these 68 matches, the Indian team ended up on the winning side 40 times, with a win percentage of 58.8 which is by far the highest among Indian captains. The right-handed batsman also led his team to the final of the inaugural edition of World Test Championship (WTC).
Another splendid achievement of the Indian great batsman is that under his captaincy the men in blue remained at the top of the table in the purest format of cricket for a long period of 42 months (from October 2016 to March 2020).
Keeping his stats in view one can not but agree with Lloyd’s statement. However, an aggressive captain alone can not make this approach successful for his team. Even in the case of England, Ben Stokes has backing and confidence of his coach, management, Board and even fans. Without this confidence, the Bazball approach will not only lose its luster but will also fail to produce the results it did for the Stokes-led men.