“No one said it was reckless in New Zealand…” England’s Coach Defends Aggressive Approach In Tests

England’s assistant coach, Jeetan Patel, has come to the team’s defense amidst criticism of their aggressive batting approach, nicknamed Bazball. Despite a batting collapse at Lord’s during the second Ashes 2023 Test against Australia, Patel argued that the approach should not be labeled as “reckless” since it had previously yielded positive results.

While England was on the back foot in the ongoing Test, Patel emphasized the team’s commitment to entertaining cricket and their determination to push boundaries and break records.

England’s first innings at Lord’s started promisingly, with a score of 278/4 at the beginning of Day 3. However, they collapsed, losing six wickets for 47 runs and eventually being bowled out for 325.

In response, Australia reached 130/2 by stumps in their second innings, placing them in a commanding position. The team’s aggressive approach drew criticism from former England legends, including Michael Vaughan, Sir Geoffrey Boycott, and Kevin Pietersen, who questioned the wisdom of such tactics.

In defense of England’s batting approach, Jeetan Patel highlighted that the same approach was not labeled as reckless during their successful tour of New Zealand. He also mentioned the reverse sweep shots played by Joe Root, hailed as innovative rather than reckless. Patel emphasized that the team’s desire to entertain is a driving force behind their approach.

“No one said it was reckless in New Zealand; no one said it was reckless when Joe Root was playing the reverse sweep, so like I said, our guys want to entertain,” Patel commented.

Commenting on Harry Brook’s dismissal after reaching 50, Patel explained that the shot the batsman attempted was the only way he could have scored four runs and potentially shifted the momentum. He emphasized the team’s strategy of absorbing pressure and applying it back on the opposition, which includes getting the bowlers off their desired lengths.

“I think Brooke’s option was to take that. That was the only place he would hit four to switch the momentum, maybe over. We’re about trying to soak up pressure and apply it wherever possible. Part of applying that was to get them off that length, which is tough to score.” Patel stated.

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Despite England’s struggles in the Ashes Tests, Patel made it clear that the team will not back down from their aggressive approach. He highlighted the team’s ambition to improve, push boundaries, and break records continually. Patel expressed that the team’s courage to test their limits and strive for greatness is crucial to their development.

He asserted, “We’ve seen in the last year this is how this team operates and wants to get better and better and wants to push boundaries, wants to break more records. I think part of that has been having the courage enough to be able to go, ‘Right, let’s see how far we can take it.’ I think that’s the most important thing.”

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