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Ollie Pope Leads “Bazball” Rough Up On India

Call it “Bazball” or whatever that is supposed to convey playing a brand of cricket to take the rival head-on and thereby entertain the paying spectator, England has sent across a message to India in no uncertain terms that its batters from 1 to 11 will go after its bowlers. In two opening stands in the first Test at the Uppal venue in Hyderabad, Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett swung their bats without fear of getting out to rattle up 55 and 45 runs before the first wicket went down. Clearly the camp the team held in Abu Dhabi to prepare for the five-Test series has yielded results. England made only 246 in the first innings and trailed the home team by 190 runs, but not perturbed by a daunting task, it roughed up the bowlers with the brilliant Ollie Pope collaring the spinners to make a near double century, though he was let off at 110 by Axar Patel and 186 by KL Rahul. From a clear first-innings setback England gave it a chance to cause a turnaround in the first Test and in the event of India going down will give plenty of thought for the national selectors to look at options in the bowling department. Moreover, questions will be asked about the attitude of the batters in offering catches when set. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul will do well to introspect.  All said and done the “Bazball” style has made an impact in India.