“Don’t Have To Call It Brave, Bold…”: AB De Villiers’ ‘Bazball’ Jibe At England

Legendary South Africa cricket team star AB De Villiers took a sly dig at England’s ‘Bazball’ approach while praising India for their batting display on Day 1 of the first Test match in Hyderabad on Thursday. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each to bundle out England for just 246 before posting 119/1 in 23 overs. Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal began the innings in aggressive fashion and De Villiers said that more than ‘Bazball’, it was a good reading of the situation by the openers.

“India batting at 8/9 rpo (runs per over) at the start of their innings here. You don’t have to call it brave, bold or bazz ball, it’s literally just playing the situation. Identifying moments in a Test match where u can get ahead in the game is what it’s all about. When the momentum shifts, u adapt and absorb for a period and wait for that moment again,” De Villiers posted on X (formerly Twitter).

The aggressive strategy of Test batting called ‘Bazball’ (named after the nickname of England coach and former New Zealand cricket Brendon McCullum” dominated headlines ahead of the series. However, apart from Ben Stokes, not a single England batter was able to cross the 50-run mark against India.

Jaiswal was batting on a 70-ball 76 while Shubman Gill was unbeaten on 14 at the end of the day’s play, as India trailed by 127 runs after losing skipper Rohit Sharma (24).

England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and opted to bat first.

The visitors were off to a decant start with openers Zak Crawley (20) and Ben Duckett (35) adding 55 runs at a fairly good pace before Ravichandran Ashwin gave India their first breakthrough by having Duckett trapped in front of the wicket.

Stokes top-scored with 70 off 88 balls and was the last English wicket to fall, bowled by Jasprit Bumrah (28).

Jonny Bairstow contributed 37 off 58 balls before he was done in by a beautiful delivery from Axar Patel (2/33).

Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin bagged three wickets apiece while there were two each for Axar and Bumrah.

(With PTI inputs)

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