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AB de Villiers blames 'Bazball' for Joe Root's poor run

Source: ANI
February 21, 2024 21:18 IST
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IMAGE: ABD believes England’s ‘Bazball’ approach is affecting Joe Root’s performance. Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

Legendary South African AB de Villiers expressed disappointment at star England batter Joe Root's low string of scores during the ongoing Test series against India, saying that the veteran should rather be encouraged to play his natural, anchor-like game being the "glue" of England's line-up.

England are trailing 2-1 in the five-match Test series against India and a key reason for this is Root not being able to score big.


In six outings so far, he has scored 77 runs at an average of 12.83, with the best score of 29.

His poor shot selection, especially the reverse scoop shot, has been under scrutiny of fans and former cricketers and experts alike.

During the 557-run chase in the Rajkot Test, he was not able to make an impact and England lost by 434 runs.

‘He was one of the best’

Speaking on his Youtube Channel, De Villiers said that when he played against Root, he felt that he was one of the best batters since he was hard to bowl out.

But of late, everything has changed due to England's 'Bazball' approach, focusing on playing attacking, positive and result-oriented cricket.

"When I played against him (Root), I felt he was one of the best Test batters I have ever played against. But that has changed and it is because of Bazball.

“I know it is a big statement but the ones that you find hardest to play against in Test match cricket are the ones who are hardest to get out. And now he is getting out on reverse sweeps and kind of blowing out of his norm. I do not like that," said De Villiers.

"Players like these (Root) should be told , 'Listen, you just go out and play your natural game. You are the glue of this batting line-up.' Let Ben Duckett or Ben Stokes play aggressively. Let Root bat long," he added.

‘I like Bazball, but…’

De Villiers said that he likes what 'Bazball' represents, but players should confront different situations differently and playing just one way in Tests is dangerous.

He urged England to bat normally and develop big partnerships in upcoming matches to give them more positive results.

"I like what Bazball represents, which is aggressive cricket, but I have said this that I want players to confront different situations and that is what Test cricket is all about.

“To predetermine a way you're going to play in Test cricket is very dangerous," said De Villiers.

"England just needed to bat normally to give themselves a chance to either draw or chase the total down in the fourth innings.

“They needed a big partnership and needed to play the situation, which unfortunately did not happen in that innings," concluded De Villiers.

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Source: ANI