Joe Root’s truth bomb from England great Michael Vaughan amid ‘Bazball’ backlash

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Pictured left to right, former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan and Joe Root.

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan wants Joe Root to forget about Bazball and just play his own game. Pic: Getty

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has dropped a telling truth bomb on Joe Root after telling the star batter to “forget” about ‘Bazball’ and play how he always has. The England side’s ultra-aggressive approach to Test cricket has entertained fans around the world but brought mixed results for the Test side, with Root’s form beginning to suffer.

The 33-year-old is widely regarded as the best England batter of his generation, with more than 11,000 Test runs to his name. Root does not seem as suited to the ‘Bazball’ style as some of his teammates though and his form stump is evidenced by scores of 29, 2, 5 and 16 from the first two Tests against India.

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England clinched a remarkable win in the first Test but came crashing back down to earth in the second as India levelled the five-match series at 1-1 heading into next week’s third Test in Rajkot. England have not taken a backward step when it comes to their aggressive approach and seem determined to stick to the tactics that have been mostly successful under coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

However, several England greats have been left bewildered by Stokes’ insistence on moving away from a batting style that has brought him so much success over the years. Stokes was out in ugly fashion after a questionable slog in the second innings in Vizag and was seen batting left-handed in the nets during England’s practice sessions.

It comes as the tourists have attempted a record number of reverse sweeps in India as the England batters look to find a way to nullify the home side’s dangerous spinners. The switch-hitting tactic worked in the first Test but not in the second, as India quick Jasprit Bumrah bowled the home side to victory.

Vaughan says England’s batters need to gain a better understanding about when to use the aggressive ‘Bazball’ method and when to adopt a more conservative approach to their batting. When it comes to Root though, the former England captain says the country’s best batter should just go back to playing his natural game.

Michael Vaughan in telling message for Joe Root

“They are in fifth gear from ball one,” Vaughan wrote in the UK Telegraph. “I don’t mind some of them playing like that because they are better for it. But Joe Root should forget it. He has 10,000 Test runs playing like Joe Root. He doesn’t need to be a Bazballer.

“It is time for someone in the management to put an arm around Joe and say ‘please just be yourself’. I think it’s as simple as the fact that he is too wrapped up in Bazball, the whole ethos of excitement and entertainment.

England cricket star Joe Root reacts after getting out in the second Test against India. Pic: Getty

England cricket star Joe Root reacts after getting out in the second Test against India. Pic: Getty

“This is particularly important against spin. Along with Graham Gooch, Root is the best player of spin England has ever produced. To see him bat the way he did in the second innings, that’s not Root, and it’s not the way England are going to win in India, just gifting wickets away.”

Root famously tried to reverse scoop Pat Cummins off the very first ball of day four in the opening Ashes Test last year and has shown he’s not afraid to take risks with the bat. However, Vaughan argues that role should be left to the likes of Ben Duckett, Jonny Bairstow and Stokes, while Root should focus on being the rock of the England batting attack.

“I knew something was up when I saw him get off the mark in both innings with reverse sweeps,” Vaughan said. He doesn’t play like that. He gets himself in, then takes risks. Let the firecrackers play like that. Joe has to be the rock, the calming influence while the mad men tee off around him.”

While Vaughan admits England’s winning percentage is impressive under the Bazball approach of McCullum and Stokes, he also pointed out that it’s cost them potential victories as well. “I do worry that they might become a team who do all this great work only to not actually win very much,” Vaughan said.

“They didn’t win the Ashes when they should have done and now they have let India back into a series when they still have a load of big names, including Virat Kohli, to come back. England have done a lot right on this tour so far and I genuinely believe they can win. But to do that, they need to smarten up their batting, and fast.”

Indian superstar Kohli is reportedly still a doubt to return at all during the series against England, having missed the first two matches for personal reasons. Several Indian publications are reporting Kohli looks set to miss the next two Test matches and could also be out for the fifth and final Test in Dharamshala, with India’s cricket board yet to provide official confirmation.

with agencies

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