England beat Pakistan in the most emphatic manner to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Nonetheless, the shear aggression shown by Ben Stokes’ side made sure that former cricketers and pundits cite Bazball as the way to go forward in Test cricket, triggering debate with Indian fans who felt Virat Kohli is the one who actually brought aggression into Test cricket.
Stokes had made a brave decision of declaring England’s second innings at 264/7, setting Pakistan a target of 343 in 100 overs. Pakistan were in hot pursuit and looked like sealing the deal before the Tea break after which their innings imploded.
Reacting to England’s ultra-aggressive approach, David Lloyd said: “It is not totally new, of course. The Australian team of the 90s were very positive and the great West Indian sides were full of exhilarating stroke-makers. I reckon a team capable of this style now is India. They have all the tools. There has been a suspicion that Indian batters are stats-driven but Virat Kohli is one who could drive this," the former cricketer-turned-commentator wrote in his column for The Daily Mail.
Virat Kohli took over as Test captain when MS Dhoni stepped down midway into the 2014-15 Australia tour. Under Kohli, India had some memorable wins, especially Test series win in Australia was quite special. Furthermore, he also led India to wins in England and South Africa. After loss in South Africa in 2021-22 tour, he stepped down from the post.
England’s win has shown that Test cricket can be played in a unique manner which might not be detrimental to its fate. Under Bazball—an ultra-aggressive approach under Brendon McCullum has delivered the results for the Three Lions with the team playing 8 Tests, winning 7 and losing just one.
Skipper Ben Stokes hailed England’s nail-biting victory in the first Test against Pakistan Monday as “one of the best" of his career — particularly given the state of the lifeless Rawalpindi pitch.
With just minutes to spare in dying light after five days of enthralling cricket, England finally halted a heroic last stand by Pakistan’s tailenders to win the first Test by 74 runs.
It was only the third time England have won a Test in Pakistan, although they haven’t visited since 2005 because of security issues.
“To be able to get a result on this type of wicket is mind-blowing," Stokes said ahead of the second Test starting in Multan on Friday.
“I think it’s probably one of the best. The effort that everyone has managed to put in this whole week is just incredible."
England have “Bazball" to thank for their victory — the free-wheeling brand of cricket coined from the nickname of new head coach Brendon “Baz" McCullum, a New Zealander.