Michael Vaughan tells struggling Joe Root to ‘forget’ Bazball in harsh reminder | Cricket

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has advised Joe Root to return to his natural style of play and avoid being swayed by the ‘Bazball’ approach during the Test series in India. The hosts levelled the five-match series 1-1 thanks to Jasprit Bumrah‘s remarkable nine-wicket haul and Yashasvi Jaiswal’s exceptional century in the second Test in Visakhapatnam.

England's Joe Root plays a reverse sweep on the second day of the second cricket test match between India and England in Visakhapatnam(AP)
England’s Joe Root plays a reverse sweep on the second day of the second cricket test match between India and England in Visakhapatnam(AP)

England have been steadfast in their commitment to maintaining their high-tempo batting approach, which has largely proven successful under the guidance of coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

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In an attempt to adapt to the spin-friendly conditions in India, the English team has resorted to an unprecedented number of reverse sweeps.

Root, however, has struggled to find form, posting scores of 29, 2, 5, and 16 in the first two Tests. His unorthodox dismissal in the second innings in Vizag left many English cricket legends, including Mike Atherton, frustrated.

Ahead of the second Test, Root was even seen batting left-handed in the nets. Vaughan believes that Root, one of England’s batting legends, should eschew Bazball tactics and adopt a more conservative approach to his game.

“They are in fifth gear from ball one,” Vaughan wrote in the UK Telegraph.

“I don’t mind some of them playing like that because they are better for it. But Joe Root should forget it. He has 10,000 Test runs playing like Joe Root. He doesn’t need to be a Bazballer.

“It is time for someone in the management to put an arm around Joe and say “please just be yourself”. I think it’s as simple as the fact that he is too wrapped up in Bazball, the whole ethos of excitement and entertainment.”

Further calling Root the “best player of spin” alongside Graham Gooch in English history, Vaughan stated that it was frustrating to see the right-handed batter “gifting” his wicket away in the second Test.

“This is particularly important against spin. Along with Graham Gooch, Root is the best player of spin England has ever produced. To see him bat the way he did in the second innings, that’s not Root, and it’s not the way England are going to win in India, just gifting wickets away,” Vaughan wrote.

Near misses

While Stokes and McCullum boast an impressive winning record together, Vaughan is concerned that the Bazball strategy could lead to missed opportunities, referencing the drawn Ashes series from last year.

“I do worry that they might become a team who do all this great work only to not actually win very much. They didn’t win the Ashes when they should have done and now they have let India back into a series when they still have a load of big names, including Virat Kohli, to come back.

“England have done a lot right on this tour so far and I genuinely believe they can win. But to do that, they need to smarten up their batting, and fast,” stated the former England captain.

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