14 Jul 2022

'It's quite scary as a bowler': R Ashwin on why players 'have to be careful' about Bazball brand of cricket

With Brendon McCullum taking over as England's Test coach, the team swept New Zealand 3–0 at home before winning the postponed fifth Test against India to level the series at 2–2. In both contests, the aggressive brand of cricket that England displayed stood out. Against India, England recorded their most successful chase in Tests to date with 378 runs. This aggressive brand of cricket was called 'Bazball', derived from McCullum's nickname Baz, as he too played the same aggressive brand of cricket during his playing days.

However, Indian cricket team spinner Ashwin said that players 'have to be careful about this brand of cricket.'

"It's been amazing to watch but it's quite scary for the bowlers to think where the game is going," he said on the Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast. “I definitely think the ball and the pitch play a part in how England play, which allows for a certain type of cricket.

“I think we have to be careful that this brand of cricket is the way forward. Test cricket has been the same for hundreds of years and there will be games and series played like this. Whether it's the same brand of cricket you play all the time is very debatable."

Ashwin also commented that there is no more balance between bat and ball in the ODI format.

“The one-day format used to be a format where the bowlers had a say. As a cricket badger and cricket nut myself, I turn off the TV after the point and that is frankly very scary for the format of the game. When those ebbs and flows disappear, it's no longer cricket. It is just an extended form of T20,” Ashwin said.

"It's a matter of relevance and I think ODI cricket needs to find its relevance." He has to find his place.”

Ashwin played 86 Tests, 113 ODIs and 51 T20Is for India and picked 442, 151 and 61 wickets in the formats.

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