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'Bazball' approach not about being arrogant but bringing the best out of team, says Joe Root

Root emphasised the importance of adapting and evolving as a batter to counter the skills of world class bowlers.
Last Updated 24 February 2024, 15:53 IST

Ranchi: Senior England batter Joe Root on Saturday said that his side's 'Bazball' approach in Test cricket is not about being arrogant but about getting the best result for the team.

England's record 434-run loss to India in the third Test in Rajkot led to widespread criticism about their ultra-aggressive approach they have adopted under coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

"There have been times recently when the best way to do that is by being a bit more aggressive. It's like if I connect with that shot and execute it better, (Jasprit) Bumrah will be under pressure and our outlook on the game is very different again."

"It’s not about being arrogant... Bazball is a word that’s used a lot but that’s your word, that's not how we look at it," Root told reporters after the end of second day's play in the fourth Test here.

"It’s about how can we get the best out of each other as a team, how we’re going to get better as a group. You’re not always going to get it right but we’ll continue to keep trying to improve."

Root emphasised the importance of adapting and evolving as a batter to counter the skills of world class bowlers.

"The reason I’ve played as many games as I have is that I’ve not wanted to stand still as a player, I have to try to keep evolving. If you keep on playing the same way over and over again, teams work you out, figure you out and find your weaknesses."

"They are world-class bowlers for a reason and there’s a lot of information out there. So if you don’t try to get better and find different ways of scoring runs, you’ll get found out."

"You’re not always going to get it right but if you’re not willing to make mistakes every now and then and sometimes get it wrong it doesn’t matter anyway because they’re still going to find you out."

Root returned to form with an unbeaten 122 from 274 balls in a classical Test match innings that helped England recover from 112 for 5 at lunch on day one to post 353.

In reply, India were 219 for 7 at stumps on Saturday, still trailing by 134 runs on a slow wicket with unusually low bounce.

"It felt like it's been a long time coming, it's been a lean series individually for me. You pride yourself as a senior player, especially with the history I've had in this part of the world, to try and make contributions that put you in positions to win games."

"It's been disappointing but the fact I have got quite a lot of experience has been able to keep me calm and trust the stuff I am doing. The way I'm preparing meant it was going to come at some point. It was nice to do it yesterday when we were in the situation we were in at lunchtime.'

'Brilliant Bashir'

Young spinner Shoaib Bashir grabbed four wickets in a marathon spell of 31 overs that spanned across all three sessions. He bowled one before lunch and then operated non-stop in the remaining two sessions with a total of 32 overs under his belt.

"The way he bowls is a great little insight into his character and personality, he is quite cheeky and great fun to be around."

"There's clearly a huge amount of skill in what he does, as he proved with the way he bowled for not just small spells but a long period of time," Root said.

"To be able to continually put pressure on some very good players of spin, I know the wicket was helpful at times, but he did an amazing job and it's a great sign for English cricket moving forward. You do have to work in partnerships and Tommy (Hartley) was excellent alongside him, too." Root is confident that England have the edge in the match.

"We've got ourselves into a nice position at the end of the first innings. Obviously, it looks like it (pitch) is going to keep deteriorating and keep getting worse."

"So if we can get three early wickets tomorrow, hopefully that puts us in a really strong position for the rest of the game," he signed off.

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(Published 24 February 2024, 15:53 IST)

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