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England to persist with Bazball despite Rajkot thrashing

Source: PTI
February 20, 2024 00:25 IST
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'We will turn the page and go quids in again trying to put India under pressure.'

IMAGE: Ben Duckett, who smashed 153 from 151 balls, was the only England batter to get past the half-century mark in the third Test against India in Rajkot. Photograph: BCCI

England coach Brendon McCullum said the heavy defeat in the third Test against India is definitely hurting the visitors but they will continue with their attacking Bazball approach in the last two Tests of the five-match series.

England's Bazball approach backfired big time in the third Test in Rajkot which they lost by a massive 434 runs, their largest defeat in terms of runs since 1934, to go 1-2 down in the series.


But McCullum said he has 'no regrets' about their approach.

"We will turn the page and go quids in again trying to put India under pressure," McCullum was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

"Hopefully in seven or eight days we'll be talking about how exciting it is to be heading into a decider."

The fourth Test will be played in Ranchi from Friday.

England have had a successful run under McCullum and captain Ben Stokes, playing an attacking brand of cricket to secure 14 wins from 20 Tests prior to the defeat in Rajkot.

"People are entitled to their opinion, good, bad or ugly," said the former New Zealand captain.

"It's up to us whether we want to listen to it or not. The dressing room is a very strong place where confidence is high and guys are backed to go out there and allow their talent to flourish. If we allow the outside noise to seep in, that's our problem," McCullum said.

He said England are a much better team now.

"We've still got some progress to make and some things to improve on, but we're a better team now than we were 18 months ago," said the 42-year-old McCullum.

"We're obviously not totally screwed down on the method yet. There will be times when we don't quite get it right because it's a hard way to play. It's asking guys to take the game on and sometimes we have to deal with failure.

"The upside is hopefully continuing to put bums on seats, make Test cricket more entertaining, we'll win more often and we'll be a team that people really want to follow."

McCullum also backed struggling Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow to deliver in the upcoming matches.

"People see a shot like that and go, 'Joe Root is struggling to deal with this new regime'," he said.

"His impact on the game is still very, very significant. Imagine if this becomes the norm for Joe as well, with the talent he possesses and the history he's got. Then what's the ceiling? Do we want just a normal Joe Root, or do we want an even better Joe Root? How many games are we going to win if that happens."

McCullum vowed to bounce back in the series.

"I'm pretty excited about the next two. If we bounce back from this then we'll know this team is starting to get where we want it to get to.

"Too right we can win the series," he said.

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