Michael Vaughan slammed England’s Bazball strategy in the ongoing 2nd Ashes Test, urging them not to mix fun with idiocy.
England’s Bazball strategy has been chastised once more after failing to capitalise on a bright start to their batting performance on day 2 of the Lord’s Test. England’s openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett got the hosts off to a solid start, with them sitting at 188-1 at one stage, after bowling Australia out on the second day’s morning, and Nathan Lyon was knocked out of the match with a calf complaint. England’s batsmen, on the other hand, tried to counter Australia’s short-ball blitz and fell cheaply to protect in the deep. They finished the day on 278-4, still down by 138, and previous England captains have spoken out against the methods they employed.
Crawley got off to a fast start, as he has done during his year as head coach under Brendon McCullum. He was, however, sacked for attempting to intervene against Lyon. “Zak Crawley did what Zak Crawley does.” “He plays beautifully, you think ‘come on, it’s your day,’ he gets to 48, and then he just gives an easy wicket,” remarked BBC commentator Michael Vaughan.
The former England captain remained critical of England’s batting strategy on day 2. “That’s the problem with this England team: they don’t recognise when they’re on top.” They simply keep using this strategy. There’s no need for that dismissal. If you get a beauty on a pitch like this… you say ‘well bowled’. But there won’t be many beauties bowled on this surface right now. Just play responsibly!”
“We can’t have entertainment mixed with stupidity,” Vaughan said. Duckett had reached 98 when he was run out by Hazlewood’s short ball, while Joe Root and Ollie Pope both mistimed ill-advised pull shots to deep square leg. England was leading the game, but they allowed Australia to get back into it, and the visitors may have ended up the happier team.
David Gower, another former England captain, concurred with Vaughan about the wickets that dropped. “I want Bazball to learn more.” I’m tired of seeing players sprint down the pitch and miss it when they’re playing well.”
Nasser Hussain, a former Bazball fan, was all for taking risks when it was worthwhile, and the payout of runs made it a viable choice. Hussain, on the other hand, was dissatisfied with the shot selection because a risk was taken with little prospective payoff. “At times, the percentages were not in their favour.” When there are two guys out, the draw and hook shot are fine. But when there are three men out, then the percentages, the risk taking, are not in your advantage.”
To begin rebuilding the innings, Harry Brook joined Ben Stokes and stroked his way to a fluent 45*(51) at the end of the day’s play, while Stokes was more conservative in making his 17. England will use day 3 to get near to Australia’s total before attempting to score runs: their tail is long, with Jonny Bairstow at 7 being the last recognised batter, but England will fancy their chances in a fourth innings chase.