More to it than just attacking cricket – Rahul Dravid praises England approach

By Sports Desk February 05, 2024

India head coach Rahul Dravid has praised England’s ‘Bazball’ approach, even if the word itself leaves him cold.

Dravid saw his side square the five-match series 1-1 with a 106-run victory in Visakhapatnam, with Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin taking three wickets each to dent England’s reputation as unstoppable chasers.

Dravid was known as ‘the Wall’ during his playing days, a nod to his watertight technique, but he has been impressed by the way the tourists have utilised their attacking methods on turning pitches.

“I think they’re playing very well. Whether you call it ‘Bazball’ or whatever you want to call it, it’s not,” he said.

“I know it’s just a term, and I’m not sure how happy they are about it, but they are playing really good cricket. It’s not like wild slogging, they are actually showing some very good skills.

“Some of the shots they are playing require a lot of ability. You can’t just come here and execute those things by saying ‘I want to play attackingly’. I think there’s more to it than just attacking cricket.

“I have seen at times they know when to pull back and they know when to attack. They’re playing slightly differently, no doubt about it. They know how to find that balance and we know we’re up against a challenge that we’re looking forward to.”

Bumrah won a deserved player-of-the-match award for his match figures of nine for 91, including a game-defining spell of vicious reverse swing in the first innings.

The image of him sending two of Ollie Pope’s stumps flying in opposite directions encapsulated his brilliance in a single frame.

“As a youngster that was the first delivery I learned in tennis-ball cricket,” Bumrah recalled.

“I used to feel that was the only way to take wickets. I look to solve the problem, every wicket is different and I have to use what I have in my armoury.”

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