England’s policy: play Test cricket also like T20
Bajball is in Pakistan – this could have been any other way of giving the news but England has its own style.
Charanpal Singh Sobti
The sensational cricket in the three test series and especially the style in which they won the historic test at Rawalpindi is a warning to all the big cricketing nations who are still following the old and boring way of playing test cricket. The Rawalpindi Test showed that the England team was ready to apply this English style of play away from home as well. Very few people would have thought that this team can play with such courage even outside, and can score big.
506 runs in 75 overs on the first day – no team in England has scored so many runs in a single day of Test cricket. Just now, 24 hours ago the news was that there is such a virus outbreak in the England team that even getting 11 players fit to play is becoming overwhelming. In such a situation, what the English batsmen did at the Rawalpindi Stadium will be studied as an example for years.
For the first time on the first day of a Test, four batsmen scored centuries – Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Harry Brook. Two of these, Duckett and Brooke, were in the top 100. There were three 100s that were made faster than a single run in a ball. Duckett’s 100 came in 105 balls and was counted as slow.
Highest number of runs scored in a single day of Test cricket in Pakistan than ever before. The run rate was an astonishing 6.74. The interesting thing is that the England team played the entire Test in this style. It was the wonder of his run rate that despite Pakistan’s long and slow batting, so much time passed that they could win the Test by taking 10 wickets in their second innings. Only South Africa, 340/3 (50 overs), have a record of scoring runs faster than a run a ball over a Test – they were beaten by Zimbabwe (Cape Town 2005), while England Was playing against Pakistan, in their own ground.
The Test was no computer game with England scoring 657 (101.0) and 264/7 (35.5). What would have happened if the umpires had not called off play due to bad light and had played the full 90 overs on the first day, is unimaginable. It is important to mention that in the session after tea on the first day, England’s run rate was 8.28 runs per over.
The biggest lesson is that England have reduced the difference between all three formats of cricket and have chosen the style that is most fit for today’s era. Such teams are not scoring even in T20 cricket where not only power play overs, cricket rules also help in fast scoring.
Rest of the cricket nations of the world look at how the England team is playing cricket – fearless cricket, which social media has named as Bajball. Adopting this style, they have won two World Cups in two years and this record of success is proof that their policy has merit. Beating Pakistan in a Test series in Pakistan is no mean feat.
This year he has played Test cricket in this style. In June at Nottingham, England scored 539 runs at 4.2 runs per over against world Test champions New Zealand. In the second innings, 299 runs in 50 overs to win the Test – not an easy feat even in ODI cricket. In the Leeds Test, England recorded a run rate of over five in 122 overs. In Birmingham, a target of 378 runs in 76.4 overs and a team of famous players kept India in sight. Now the Rawalpindi Test means that irrespective of the pitch and the bowler, the England team will bat with its new style. The success of this thinking is visible in his record.
McCullum changed the game of England
In May this year, England appointed Brendon McCullum as head coach and since then, only six times have England registered a run rate of less than four. The special thing is that the team is playing this style of cricket without any tension or pressure. Only then, in the Rawalpindi Test, in the desire to win the match, they were able to give such a challenge to Pakistan, in which there was a danger of losing. The Rawalpindi Test – perhaps remembered in history only for two big innings and as many 100s – turned out to be an absolute thriller.
Where is the danger to the popularity of Test cricket if such matches are played? Believe it or not, on the fifth and final day of the Test, the Rawalpindi stadium was full of hope for their team’s victory. Nowadays the audience has become rare for taste. The same thing happened in Multan and it seemed a wrong decision to declare the innings over but in the end Tests won. On the pitch of Karachi, even if big scores were not made, but Pakistan got heavy.