We just get lost with this term Bazball, fumes Nasser Hussain

The former opener praised James Anderson, who reached the landmark of 700 Test wickets in his 187th match

Bazball takes a knee in Dharamsala (photo: PTI)
Bazball takes a knee in Dharamsala (photo: PTI)


Miffed at England's 4-1 shellacking by India, former captain Nasser Hussain has advised the team's misfiring batters to work on individual performances and eschew their obsession with 'Bazball', a term derived from England Test coach Brendon McCullum's nickname 'Baz', which fell flat as the tourists capitulated in three days in the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala, helping India secure their 17th straight Test series triumph on home soil.

"We just get lost with this term Bazball. The team, the management does not like the term Bazball. They need to look at their own individual performances," Hussain, who led England in 45 Test matches from 1999 to 2003, wrote in his column for Sky Sports.

He added, "Look at the opposition. Like in anything in life, try and learn. Why did we collapse? Why (does) Crawley keep getting starts and keep getting out? Ben Duckett got a brilliant 150, gave a charge when the ball was too new."

By his standards, skipper Ben Stokes had a forgettable series and that was not lost on Hussain. "Ben Stokes had a poor series with the bat. Maybe because he is playing only with the bat. Just look at your own game and improve," said Hussain.

England rarely put on the kind of collective batting performance that India enjoyed throughout the series, with their misfiring middle-order primarily to blame for the frequent collapses.

The former opener praised James Anderson, who reached the landmark of 700 Test wickets in his 187th match, calling it an "unbelievable achievement", and also lauded senior India spinner R. Ashwin for completing 100 Test matches and picking up 500 wickets.

"There is too much said and written about Bazball. I have said the other day it is about the individuals. It is about the individual performances in those situations. There are two people playing in this game. Jimmy Anderson and R. Ashwin. The reason they end up as greats of the game is because they are constantly looking at improving in the game. Trying to improve," said Hussain.

England began the series on a positive note by winning the first Test, but then lost the plot to go down without a fight. They were often guilty of squandering their advantage. "In the third Test, England were in a position to try and get close to India but didn't and once you give them a lead then you are chasing the game. They had their chances in the fourth Test as well.

"I know they came back to win the first Test in Hyderabad due to the brilliance of Ollie Pope with the bat and Tom Hartley with the ball but there are only rare occurrences in India where you can turn it around.

"The batting collapses will be the main issue from this tour. There have been so many occasions where they have got off to decent starts and the middle order has then collapsed," Hussain wrote.

This is England's first series loss in the Brendon McCullum-Ben Stokes era, the men who conceived the Bazball method of dominating sessions in Test cricket. England last won a series in India in 2012.

"It can happen in India but the pitches in this series have been brilliant so England can have no complaints about that. Plus, they won three tosses out of five. They will look at those collapses and say, 'what could we have done differently in those positions to make sure it doesn't happen again?' because it did happen again," Hussain wrote.

England lost the fifth and final Test of the series by an innings and 64 runs on Saturday.

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