BAZ BALL- The New Era in English Test Cricket.

Author: Arijit
06 Jul 2022 12:57:56

When Brendon McCullum was appointed as the head coach of England's Test Team, the Three Lions were returning from a forgettable Ashes humiliation. There were questions regarding the style of play and the captaincy acumen of Joe Root, arguably the Best Batsman in Test Cricket currently. Root, who was finding it hard to balance the captaincy along with his batting prowess eventually relinquished the captain's arm band and Ben Stokes stepped in.

The time was ripe and right for launching a new philosophy in English Cricket. And that's when the Baz Ball style of playing cricket happened.

Baz Ball is coined as a term that described the style of play of Brendon McCullum in his playing days. McCullum was probably New Zealand's best attacking batsman of all time who believed in going after the bowlers right from ball 1.

Be it the unbeaten 158* at the 2008 IPL opener or the 54 ball 100 against Pakistan in his Final Test, it was McCullum who let his bat shower heavily on to the bowlers.

Stepping out of the crease against the opposition's finest of bowlers and sending the deliveries to the boundary ropes was not only a playing style but an entire philosophy that transpired a new era of Cricket. And when McCullum was given the charge of England's Test Team, he instilled the same philosophy into his side.

And to facilitate things in a better way, McCullum found a kin in Ben Stokes who believed in the same ideology as that of Brendon McCullum's. Infact Stokes' best Test Innings of his career, (the famous unbeaten 135* against Australia at Headingly) came when he followed a similar ideology of counter attacking the Aussies as he snatched the victory for his side in a famous last wicket run-chase.

Ben Stokes has been known for his fierce on field competitiveness and his batting and bowling prowess makes him an ideal flagbearer of the Baz Ball.

The duo of Stokes and McCullum first came in together for the first time in a 3 match home series against New Zealand, McCullum's and Stokes' birth nation.

It was one of the finest competitive series of recent times where England came from behind in all the matches and chased down targets in the 4th innings. In fact it became one of the signature template of English cricket as they chased targets of 279, 299 and 296 successively on a typical English 4th innings track to script a memorable white wash over the Kiwis.

More than the targets it was the way those targets were achieved described the brand of cricket the English side was playing.

In the first test at Lord's, it was Joe Root's memorable 115 not out that allowed them to chase a steep target of 277 after being bowled out for 141 in the 1st Innings. Along with Root, Ben Stokes too played his part with a score of 54.

The second Test at Nottingham was England's best run chase in Test Cricket where they chased down 299 in 50 overs courtesy Johnny Bairstow's life changing innings of 136 of 92 balls. Ben Stokes too contributed with an unbeaten 75 of 70 balls.

The 3rd Test at Leeds had Bairstow written all over it. From an expressive 162 in the 1st Innings, Bairstow doubled it up with an unbeaten 71 off 44 deliveries as England chased 296 in 54 overs. There were notable contributions from Joe Root (86*) and Ollie Pope (82) too.

The much anticipated 5th Test against India at Edgbaston was England's next assignment. While India dominated 7 of the 13 sessions, it was Bairstow's twin hundreds that set up the game for England. Bairstow who scored a counter-attacking 106 in the 1st innings was at his best in the 2nd innings too when he stayed unbeaten at 114*. He had Joe Root at his company who scored an unbeaten 142* to script an unbeaten 269 runs partnership that saw England chase 378 in 76.4 overs.

After the victory, the confidence in the voice of Ben Stokes was evident as he went on air stating that even chasing 450 would have been achievable.

The duo of Stokes and McCullum has only been 4 Tests old but the brand of cricket the side has displayed clearly indicates the roadmap of the English Test Side in the days to come.

Sat, 13 Aug 2022 02:15:52
The board has advanced its women's domestic calendar by a month to make room for the tournament
Fri, 12 Aug 2022 12:31:45
The match will pit the likes of Sehwag, Harbhajan and the Pathan brothers against Kallis, Steyn and Muralidaran
Thu, 11 Aug 2022 16:35:42
He was not part of the initial 15-man squad, but was added to the list on Thursday; Shikhar Dhawan moves to vice-captain's role
Thu, 11 Aug 2022 11:17:08
The league said its six teams have finalised contracting players through the "directly acquire players" option
Tue, 09 Aug 2022 09:14:09
Sophie Ecclestone and Sophie Devine have held on to their top spots in the bowlers' and allrounders' tables respectively
Mon, 08 Aug 2022 15:43:48
It is understood that the pacer will need to do rehabilitation work at the NCA in Bengaluru before being deemed fit
Mon, 08 Aug 2022 13:19:49
तीन साल के अंतराल के बाद दुलीप ट्रॉफ़ी के साथ होगी घरेलू सीज़न की शुरुआत
Mon, 08 Aug 2022 13:32:21
He replaces Pubudu Dassanayake, who resigned last month to take up a similar role with Canada
Mon, 08 Aug 2022 13:04:08
Duleep Trophy returns after a three-year hiatus, to run from September 8, as the domestic season opener
Tue, 09 Aug 2022 04:41:27
No David Warner in the mix; no players from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan feature in the initial list of players
Mon, 08 Aug 2022 11:18:46
The BCCI ethics officer has given her until September 2 to respond
Mon, 08 Aug 2022 04:53:34
Rohit says it's "fantastic" and "very exciting to create so many leaders around the team"
Mon, 08 Aug 2022 18:59:31
Harshal Patel was also not available for selection, while KL Rahul returned to India's squad
Sun, 07 Aug 2022 20:25:30
A half-century from Harmanpreet Kaur put India on course in a chase of 162 before they collapsed spectacularly
Sun, 07 Aug 2022 18:25:06
Chasing 189, West Indies slumped to 100 all out with Shimron Hetmyer playing a lone hand of 56
Sun, 07 Aug 2022 09:55:33
Lanning's women have won everything but Harmanpreet's are still chasing that elusive global title
Sat, 06 Aug 2022 16:46:19
"Until the last moment, we believed we could win, even though they had a couple of strong partnerships"
Sat, 06 Aug 2022 16:07:46
There is no clarity on the timeframe of the seam bowler's recovery, and whether he will be considered for the Asia Cup
Sat, 06 Aug 2022 19:10:38
West Indies fell apart after Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant led a team batting effort to set a target of 192
Sat, 06 Aug 2022 15:21:11
Chasing 165, England began brightly before being undone by a spate of run-outs
Sat, 06 Aug 2022 06:45:26
Two-paced pitches, asymmetric grounds and wind - India have faced and overcome several challenges in the Caribbean
Fri, 05 Aug 2022 14:15:02
Head coach explains the use of all 15 squad members, Rodrigues' floating batting position and the Yastika-Taniya choice between the wicketkeepers
Fri, 05 Aug 2022 10:29:32
India will risk playing Rohit Sharma only if he is 100% ready, while West Indies could look at bringing in Odean Smith for Devon Thomas
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:34:49
There was a delay in the visa process and it needed the intervention of Guyanese president
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 14:25:12
The Asia Cup squad could give us an indication of the 15 who will travel to Australia for the T20 World Cup
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:34:45
Deandra Dottin's final international game ends in 100-run loss for Barbados
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:34:52
The Indian batter has a great chance of toppling the Pakistan captain, who won't play his next T20I until the end of August
Fri, 05 Aug 2022 20:02:44
"I can proudly say I can bowl four overs now as a third seamer or a fourth seamer"
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:35:00
"We've got a few days in between [now and] the next game, so hopefully [I] should be okay," he said after the game
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:34:56
Kyle Mayers' 73 went in vain for West Indies, with Rohit Sharma's back injury a matter of concern for the visitors
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:34:57
The six-team tournament begins in the UAE with Sri Lanka taking on Afghanistan on August 27
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:35:07
The match timings have been revised to give players extra time to recover after Monday's second T20I was delayed by three hours
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:35:06
The India captain also backed the batters to continue their high-intent approach despite their St Kitts slump
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:35:05
Devon Thomas added the finishing touches after the hosts complicated a straightforward chase of 139
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:35:00
The match, which was expected to start at 10.30am local time [8pm IST], will now start at 1.30pm local time [11pm IST]
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:35:08
The second season will be played from September 17 to October 8 across five cities in India
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:35:01
Rohit and his management have not been shy of thinking outside the box in the run up to the T20 World Cup
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:35:07
India chase down the target of 100 with 38 balls to spare to improve their net run rate
Thu, 04 Aug 2022 07:34:54
Rahul Tripathi called up, Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav come back as India continue to rotate their players
Sat, 30 Jul 2022 08:48:04
India's aggressive approach paid off in the first T20I as they scored a huge total on a tough pitch
Sat, 30 Jul 2022 05:14:26
Chasing 191, West Indies' batting struggled against the spin of Ashwin, Jadeja and Bishnoi
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 14:55:36
India face West Indies in a five-match T20I series starting on Friday
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 17:30:53
Harris and Gardner rescued Australia from the pits of 49 for 5
Sat, 30 Jul 2022 05:29:26
"We are telling the players to play the way they play for their franchise or state; there they don't take much pressure"
Fri, 29 Jul 2022 05:20:19
Former India player parts ways with Cricket Australia after six years as the men's spin coach
Sat, 30 Jul 2022 05:28:45
The five-match series presents an opportunity for both sides to firm up their T20 World Cup plans
Thu, 28 Jul 2022 10:26:32
Shubman Gill "has a bit of Rohit in him," says India's stand-in captain after the ODI series win in West Indies
Thu, 28 Jul 2022 06:23:13
India begin their Commonwealth Games campaign against Australia on Friday
Wed, 27 Jul 2022 17:20:43
The nine-team competition will be played from August 27 to September 11 in the T20 format
Sat, 30 Jul 2022 04:07:00
The batters, led by Gill's unbeaten 98, fired India to 225 from 36 overs, and West Indies barely got going in the chase
Wed, 27 Jul 2022 09:53:56
Abdullah Shafique is now only behind Gavaskar and Bradman for rating points accumulated after six Test appearances
Wed, 27 Jul 2022 09:03:38
He has been advised an extra week of rest and recuperation as he recovers from Covid-19
Tue, 26 Jul 2022 17:40:45
The duo will have to pass a BCCI-mandated fitness test after completing their isolation this week
Wed, 27 Jul 2022 06:50:35
WV Raman appointed batting consultant while Saurasish Lahiri will continue as the assistant coach
Wed, 27 Jul 2022 08:22:48
Bangladesh and England will host T20 World Cups in 2024 and 2026
Tue, 26 Jul 2022 17:47:53
India, meanwhile, could look to rotate their line-up with the series already in their bag
Tue, 26 Jul 2022 14:24:16
The South African was part of India's support staff between 2008 and 2011, a stint that culminated in the World Cup victory
Mon, 25 Jul 2022 05:01:41
Allrounder's 27-ball fifty ensures series win with Hope's century in his 100th ODI going in vain for West Indies
Sun, 24 Jul 2022 15:27:16
The wicketkeeper-batter finishes with the third most dismissals behind the stumps for India in women's ODIs
Sat, 23 Jul 2022 14:51:52
Hope, who will be playing his 100th ODI, and Thakur among players to watch on Sunday
Sat, 23 Jul 2022 08:55:24
A fourth side, from South Africa, is expected to take part in the tournament, to be held in September
Fri, 22 Jul 2022 14:27:16
Under-16 tournament for women, last staged by Women's Cricket Association of India (WCAI) in 2006, also brought back
Sun, 24 Jul 2022 14:34:42
Siraj and Prasidh defended 38 off the last three overs - weathering an onslaught from Hosein and Shepherd - to seal a three-run win
Fri, 22 Jul 2022 11:00:58
Umpires in A+ and A category will be paid Rs 40,000 a day for a first-class game
Wed, 03 Aug 2022 15:03:00
South Africa will stay on for a series of three ODIs too, but those might be contested by second-string line-ups
Fri, 22 Jul 2022 17:22:52
The two will also train at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane and be part of Queensland Bulls' pre-season preparations
Fri, 22 Jul 2022 07:35:56
"Earlier, we had team dinners. Now, we do reels," India's stand-in captain says of creating a lively dressing-room atmosphere
Fri, 22 Jul 2022 11:35:00
The captain says players are showing a willingness to learn in a bid to turn around their ODI fortunes
Thu, 21 Jul 2022 17:21:46
Meanwhile, Kuldeep Yadav has received a green signal from the NCA after recovering from a hand injury
Thu, 21 Jul 2022 13:37:21
Three-judge bench, led by the Chief Justice of India, appoints senior lawyer Maninder Singh new amicus curiae
Fri, 22 Jul 2022 02:45:44
An opportunity for back-up India players to stake claims and get a longer run
Wed, 20 Jul 2022 16:59:21
Three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India to consider reviewing 2018 judgement on board's constitution
Wed, 20 Jul 2022 10:48:37
Hardik Pandya moves to eighth in the allrounders' list
Wed, 20 Jul 2022 09:32:47
Former cricketer feels he might be able to help the out-of-form Kohli "particularly with regards to that off-stump line"
Wed, 20 Jul 2022 00:33:37
The three ODIs against India between August 18 to 22 are part of the ODI Super League
Mon, 18 Jul 2022 14:43:02
Head coach impressed with the team for coming up with a short-ball strategy and sticking with it
Mon, 18 Jul 2022 13:09:23
Club's chief executive says Washington Sundar's arrival is latest step on "journey of engagement" with Indian audience
Mon, 18 Jul 2022 09:19:14
Primary among them is the top three of Dhawan, Kohli and Rohit himself, which faltered more often than it did not
Mon, 18 Jul 2022 04:39:00
Maiden ODI century not only resuscitated India, but helped them sprint to the target in record time
Sun, 17 Jul 2022 19:30:35
Captain insists he will grow into new responsibilities after Pant reprieve proves crucial
Sun, 17 Jul 2022 20:03:05
The pair added 133 for the fifth wicket after Reece Topley had ripped through the top order
Sun, 17 Jul 2022 20:18:25
SLC will remain the official host of the event, which is set to be played between August 27 and September 11
Sat, 16 Jul 2022 15:48:02
ODI tri-series are set for a comeback; 15 five-match T20I series are also proposed
Sat, 16 Jul 2022 18:29:43
Teams batting first have made 290-plus totals in six of the last nine ODIs at the venue
Sat, 16 Jul 2022 13:17:38
The KPL, as it was known then, will now be called the Maharaja Trophy T20 and feature six teams
Fri, 22 Jul 2022 06:57:23
A near-final draft of the international cricket calendar from May 2023 to April 2027 affirms the growing primacy of franchise T20 leagues
Fri, 15 Jul 2022 15:17:46
"A player like him, who has won so many matches, needs only one or two good innings to bounce back"
Thu, 14 Jul 2022 21:39:29
Captain pleased with adaptation to tricky Lord's wicket as England square the series
Thu, 14 Jul 2022 12:36:35
Sri Lanka recently hosted Australia, and Pakistan have recently arrived in the island nation for a Test series
Fri, 15 Jul 2022 10:49:37
Visitors fall apart in chase after Moeen and Willey had earlier helped England to 246
Thu, 14 Jul 2022 10:11:50
KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav's inclusion is subject to fitness
Thu, 14 Jul 2022 10:02:26
Meanwhile, Ashwin believes Kohli has been "batting beautifully" despite what the numbers say
Wed, 13 Jul 2022 20:15:44
Series is on the line on World Cup win's third anniversary, even with Virat Kohli still not a confirmed presence for India
Wed, 13 Jul 2022 14:41:29
The India offspinner has called for a return to one ball per innings to bring back the "ebbs and flows" of the 50-over game
Wed, 13 Jul 2022 11:20:59
He had not played a 50-over game since November 2020, but took 3 for 31 on his comeback
Wed, 13 Jul 2022 10:26:39
Bhuvneshwar's Player-of-the-Series performance in the England T20Is has taken him back into the top ten for bowlers
Wed, 13 Jul 2022 07:26:32
Baroda have also appointed Yusuf Pathan as a mentor, and are trying to bring Deepak Hooda back in their team
Wed, 13 Jul 2022 06:45:59
India's ten-wicket win in the first ODI against England took them past Pakistan
Tue, 12 Jul 2022 16:29:15
The entire game lasted only 44 overs as Rohit built on the advantage his bowlers gave him with a fine half-century
Tue, 12 Jul 2022 10:44:02
Mandhana, Ranaweera, and Nilakshi have had uprises following consistent performances