India won't change batting approach against England's 'Bazball': coach

Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour said the hosts would rely on their own strengths to counter the opposition

By AFP

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England's Ollie Pope plays a shot on the third day of the first Test. — PTI
England's Ollie Pope plays a shot on the third day of the first Test. — PTI

Published: Wed 31 Jan 2024, 7:24 PM

India will bank on a traditional approach to bounce back in their second home Test against England, the team's batting coach said on Wednesday, despite the tourists finding success with their attacking "Bazball" strategy.

England trumped the hosts to lead the five-match series 1-0, with the action shifting to Visakhapatnam starting Friday on a pitch expected to turn violently.

Ollie Pope's 196 turned the opening Test on its head, as the batsman frequently played the unorthodox reverse sweep to blunt the threat of the Indian spinners.

But batting coach Vikram Rathour said the hosts would rely on their own strengths to counter the opposition, instead of imitating Pope's style.

"It's not something that you can just try. You need to be prepared for that, you need to practice it," he said.

"If you add more shots to your game it's always beneficial, but we play a traditional way. Our strength or strong areas are going straight and using our feet," he added.

"We haven't lost a series in 12-13 years, that means we are putting up more runs than the other team... I am sure the batters will find a way."

Rohit Sharma's side suffered only their fourth home defeat in 47 Tests since 2013 in Hyderabad last week as England came from 190 runs behind after the first innings to snatch a stunning 28-run victory.

Debutant spinner Tom Hartley returned figures of 7-62 to bundle India out for 202 while chasing 231 in Hyderabad.

But it was England's brave new brand of cricket -- dubbed "Bazball" after coach Brendon "Baz" McCullum -- that allowed the tourists to strike back and win.

"A lot of our teams are playing more aggressively," opening batsman Zak Crawley told reporters.

"The mindset when I first came to England was to... take your time and build a long innings and I didn't think that came naturally to me and a few of the others," he added.

"A lot of us play a bit better under this regime."

McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes have led a huge turnaround for England's fortunes, with 14 wins in 19 Tests.


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