Cricket-India to be the next test for England’s ‘Bazball’, says Nasser Hussain

LONDON (Reuters) – England’s highly entertaining “Bazball” approach will face a test when the team travels to India next year for a five-match test series, England captain Nasser Hussain believes.

Under coach Brendon “Baz” McCullum and captain Ben Stokes, England’s result-oriented approach to test cricket once again enthralled fans as they overturned a 2-0 deficit to level the Ashes series against Australia 2-2.

They would encounter vastly different and spin-friendly conditions in India, where England lost 3-1 on their last tour in 2021 under Joe Root’s captaincy.

“It’s the next test for Bazball,” Chennai-born Hussain said in the latest episode of the ICC Review.

“The next challenge is India and everyone knows India in India is one of the sternest challenges in test match cricket.”

India have not shied away from milking their home advantage in recent years, rolling out rank turners and unleashing their wily spinners who have regularly tormented the touring batters.

“It’s Bazball against spin. Bazball against Ravi Ashwin, (Ravindra) Jadeja and Axar Patel and that is going to be fascinating,” Hussain said.

Zak Crawley has personified England’s swashbuckling batting and the opener said the series in India would be an “amazing opportunity” to test their philosophy.

“I don’t really know much about their grounds,” the opener, who aggregated 67 runs in four innings in the 2021 tour, said after the final Ashes test.

“Sometimes in India it seams and swings a bit – and they’ve got unbelievable seamers – so hopefully there are a couple of pitches there that are like that as well, that will suit us a bit more.

“But if it’s spinning, I feel like we play spin really well as well. We’ll just have to adapt, see what we get.”

The first test will begin in Hyderabad on Jan. 29. Vizag, Ranchi, Rajkot and Dharamsala are the venues for the other matches.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Robert Birsel)