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Crawley says England won't turn backs on 'Bazball' despite India loss

By AFP

March 29, 2024 09:25 AM


Zak Crawley

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Zak Crawley has insisted England have no intention of retreating into a "negative" approach after their recent 4-1 Test series loss in India but accepted they must "pick the right moments" to absorb pressure.

England lost their first series under the red-ball leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum in convincing fashion earlier this month after winning the first Test in Hyderabad.

That reverse sparked a widespread debate over the merits of England's aggressive 'Bazball' style following several batting collapses, with even former New Zealand captain 'Baz' McCullum saying the team would have to "refine" their style.

"We always talk about absorbing pressure and putting pressure back on," 26-year-old opening batsman Crawley said Thursday.

"The last couple of years we've done the putting pressure back on pretty well and we've spoken about maybe picking those moments to absorb at the right times as well. We can certainly refine that."

"That's not to say we're going to get more negative. We will still try to play the way we have and try to score quickly but yeah, picking those moments where they're on top and we need to absorb."

McCullum and Stokes won 10 of their first 11 Tests in charge but have since lost seven of the last dozen.

Few disagree with the basic premises behind 'Bazball', an approach grounded on the idea of trying to free players from the fear of failure and taking the attack to the opposition.

But there were times when England appeared to get carried away, notably when star batsman Joe Root was dismissed off a high-risk reverse scoop during a third-Test collapse in Rajkot.

That lack of a ruthless streak was also evident in the fourth Test in Ranchi where England, having made 353 in their first innings, reduced India to 177-7 in reply only to still suffer a five-wicket defeat.

"We should have won in Ranchi to make it 2-2 and then you never know how the last one goes," said Crawley speaking at an event for Swiss watch brand Rado, an England team sponsor.

Crawley topped England's batting averages in India with 407 runs at 40.7.


AFP


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