If Bazball is Test cricket played on steroids, as Sky Sports’ Mark Butcher put it this summer, then England’s Test cricket played on day one in Pakistan is Bazball on steroids.
Ben Stokes’ side didn’t just take their free route to the subcontinent, they took it to a new level.
The first team to score 500 on the opening day of a Test, a feat that took place in just 75 overs, and their innings total of 657 was more records than HMV.
Fastest Test run by an England opener (Zak Crawley, off 86 balls). Most scores scored by England in a Test over (Harry Brook’s 27 off Zahid Mahmood). 6.44 runs over (England’s rate in the first round of Tests, most recorded in the CrivViz database). Most of Kenturi on the first day of the Test (Crawley, Brook, Ollie Pope, Ben Duckett). Measurements and reaks of the record.
The transformation of Test cricket in one year has been remarkable. Let us remember that at this time 12 months ago he was bowled out for 147 against Australia in Brisbane at the start of the Ashes tournament where they lost 4-0. The series ended in 12 days. He spent a long time in isolation.
When Joe Root’s side, as it was then, was repeatedly beaten, you wondered if they and Australia were playing another game. Now we think the same way – but in a better way.
England is the innovator.
While posting 657 in 101 overs against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, Australia made 598-4 in 152.4 more overs against West Indies in Perth. Baseball isn’t the norm yet.
The big question is, will it be the norm? As the news continues that England are changing Test cricket, it remains to be seen whether other teams will follow suit or Stokes’ team will remain out of favor in the world.
Saturday 3 December 4:45 am
There are also detractors. There were some who doubted whether Bazball would work in Pakistan where sports cricket is cheap. There was a headline that said it would not work in Pakistan. The first signs, however, are that they have Bazballed good and fit on the first day in Rawalpindi.
And that’s the secret. If – and it’s still if – England can take a result at home and feather in Pakistan and maybe even better decks in Australia and South Africa and turn to India and Sri Lanka in the future, then it’s like a white ball. red ball cricket would be common. Some teams may be in danger of being left out if they don’t try to emulate England.
The rest of the world may need a little convincing – but the English system does not. Players are lining up to play for the Test team now where they might not have been before.
You can’t imagine if Liam Livingstone, Duckett and Brook were too drawn to the prospect when England chose not to chase down 273 from 75 overs against New Zealand at Lord’s in 2021. A 506-4 win in 75 overs against Pakistan changed the mindset, Livingstone and Duckett are happy to be part of Baz and Ben’s transformation.
Livingstone said Sky Sports The evening of the match in Rawalpindi: “Test cricket was never a dream for me, it had never been there. I just thought it would be difficult to realize that dream. Fortunately Baz and Ben have brought it down. It’s a great way.
“The message from heaven is don’t change the way you play. When you have that kind of support from someone like Baz, it’s very encouraging. It’s important to have someone like that who believes in your game. The way he thinks is what makes it. It’s more the way I think about cricket. It’s a pleasure to be with you. It’s a very refreshing place.”
Duckett was clearly in the air as he reflected on scoring his first Test debut in his prime, in his first red-ball game for his country since 2016: “I don’t think there’s going to be a better place to do it. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of players who want to do it. to be in this dressing room. I was one of them last summer.
“[McCullum and Stokes] they allow you to play your game and play with freedom. The real change was watching this team at the beginning of the summer. I went back to playing with more freedom. “
Brook was at a loss for words as he grinded out his century in Rawalpindi – but he didn’t let his bat do the talking.
His 80-ball was the third-fastest for England in Tests and at one point he looked set to surpass Gilbert Jessop’s 120-year-old record of 76 when he smoked Pakistan shortstop Saud Shakeel for four in an over. part of the play he joked that he was happier than his years.
A day later, Brook smashed 150 off 115 balls, breaking a 27-run stand with the England batsman in a Test over when he dismissed leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood. Six, four, four, four, six, three were the punishment songs.
I knew there was talent in England but I didn’t realize how good they were. I am not talking about the upper part. I spoke to the Lions about what we want to see from them, the style of play we want, and skill is not an issue. There is no doubt how good these players are.
For Brook to play like this in his second Test speaks volumes for the nature of Stokes, which the captain lives and breathes, as evidenced by Naseem Shah’s wicket dance and burning the first ball he faced in the second. in the morning at six. The fear of failure is gone. If players ‘fail’, they are encouraged to come back stronger, so they don’t lose that goal.
This is an intoxicating thing to have and, as a result, the pool of players in England is growing. They also need it if they want to do well at the international level, as there are some holes in the bowling that did not find wickets for Pakistan on day two in Rawalpindi. Speed and flexibility are key, game-changing elements that all managers want to be able to master, especially on slow pitches like the one this Test is being played on.
The former could be set for the second Test with England hoping that Mark Wood can play after a hip complaint and there is the possibility of Olly Stone and Jofra Archer for longer spells. Both would have opted to focus on white-ball cricket after a disastrous run with injury, but both have publicly stated their desire to return to England Tests and the Ashes could backfire.
The secret cycle is complicated. If anyone can convince white ball master Adil Rashid to give the red ball game another break then it’s probably Stokes but maybe 18-year-old Leicestershire leggie Rehan Ahmed will be the man to deliver the magic.
Ahmed was a late and surprising addition to the party after impressing with his ability and personality at a training camp in the UAE but his inclusion also seemed to be lacking in England wanting to convince him of the benefits of red ball cricket and white ball franchises. around.
The thing is that with the axis of McCullum-Stokes changing the results and the form of England, the players don’t need too much conviction. Why play white ball cricket when red ball games can be so much fun?
For you, the whole world. Are you coming for a ride?
Watch the third day of the first Test between Pakistan and England, in Rawalpindi, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event on Saturday. Construction begins at 4.45am ahead of the first ball at 5am.