4 Players Who Have Benefited from ‘Bazball’ this Summer for England
Under the leadership of Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, England’s style of play in Test cricket has changed significantly this year. ‘Bazball’, as it has been labelled by some media in England, has worked, as the hosts won six of their seven Test matches during the summer.
Here is a look at four players who have benefited from England’s change in identity.
Jonny Bairstow is one of the few players in the England cricket Test set-up who plays all three formats of the game for his country. He opens the batting for his side in T20 cricket, so he knows all about playing aggressive cricket from the start of his innings.
Bairstow was named the player of the summer by England for what he achieved in the games against New Zealand, India, and South Africa. He scored 681 runs during those matches. It included four centuries, with the most notable being his 136 from 96 balls in his side’s victory over New Zealand in the Second Test at Trent Bridge.
Batting in the middle order, Bairstow is a great asset for England, as not only can he help his side recover if the players above him get out cheaply, but he is also able to add some fast runs to his team’s innings. The Yorkshire player should continue to enjoy playing his cricket in the McCullum-Stokes era.
Losing the Test captaincy following the tour of West Indies must have felt like a big blow to Joe Root. However, he has responded in the best possible way for his country, consistently shining with the bat over the summer.
Root is the number one Test batsman in the ICC rankings, and he showed why in 2022. Without the pressure and worry that comes with the captaincy, England’s number four batsman has looked like a heavy weight has been lifted off his shoulders when he has been at the crease.
That was fun! ?? pic.twitter.com/B17LekvZXL— Joe Root (@root66) July 5, 2022
Given his talent, Root has had no problems stepping up to the challenge set by his head coach and captain. He can score runs quickly and he should continue to climb up the standings when it comes to the most runs in Test history.
As captain of the team, Stokes has led by example with the bat and on the field in 2022. There have been times when he has been criticised for the choice of shots he has played, but one thing he can’t be challenged on is being unclear with his players on what is expected from them.
The highlight of Stokes’ summer with the bat was his century against South Africa at Old Trafford. He scored 103 before getting out, as England reached 415 in their first innings. That was enough for the home side to prevail by an innings and 85 runs.
Stokes has also brought himself into the attack when his team desperately needed a wicket to end a partnership. He has shown he remains a big part of England’s bowling attack, along with James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Ollie Robinson.
The results he has been able to guide his team will give Stokes a lot of confidence ahead of the Ashes in 2023. As of the 16th of September, England are 6/5 in the cricket odds to beat their oldest rivals in the series next year.
Anderson and Broad were recalled back into the England team by the board this summer and both men have proven why they are still important players for their country. Broad, in particular, has flourished in Stokes’ team, and he is looking more like an all-rounder with every game.
England’s second leading wicket-taker in Test cricket is very capable of scoring quick runs with the bat. He scored a useful 42 against New Zealand at Old Trafford, while he hit 35 against South Africa in the First Test at Lord’s.
Despite being 35, Broad is expected to be part of the England squad for the summer series against Australia in 2023 in what could be his last for his country.
England’s next Test assignment will be in Pakistan in December where they will play a Test series in the country for the first time since 2005.