Former England captain Nasser Hussain reckons that Indian fans are wishing for Rohit Sharma’s team to thrash England in the upcoming 5-Test series and “put Bazball to bed.”
Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum’s Bazballers come to India without having lost a single Test series since the captain and coach joined hands in 2022. On their way to “revolutionizing” Test cricket by playing an attacking, positive, and entertaining brand of cricket, England under Stokes and McCullum have won 13 out of 18 Test matches and have the best win-loss ratio in the world in this period.
Last year, while they failed to win the home Ashes series, England did manage to equalize the series 2-2 after being 0-2 down; they could have even won the series if not for rain on Day 5 of the fourth Test in Manchester. So much has been the hype about Bazball that the word ‘Bazball’ was added to the Collins dictionary in November last year.
Even when the World Cup 2023 was going on, Indian fans did talk about the Test series, starting January 25. Nasser Hussain, who was at the World Cup in India as a commentator, believes the Indian fans strongly want to see Rohit Sharma’s team defeat, and defeat by significant margins, in the Test series to kill all the hype of Bazball.
On the Sky Sports Cricket podcast, Nasser Hussain said: “There’s been a lot of talk about Indian cricket and there’s been a lot of talk about Bazball. My sense in the World Cup was that a lot of Indian fans are waiting to see how to put Bazball to bed.”
Nasser Hussain opines spin-friendly pitches will bring England more into the game
The 55-year-old commentator emphasised on the facet of modern Test cricket that the more bowling-friendly the pitch is, the more it will bring the underdog team into the game.
Hussain has cautioned India against dishing out extremely spin-friendly tracks because the match could then become a “bit of a lottery.”
Nasser Hussain added: “I think what India should do is ask for good pitches that spin a bit because I think their spinners and batters will then out-bat and out-spin ours.
“If they ask for pitches that spin a lot then it becomes a bit of a lottery and brings England’s spinners into the game. The way Bazball goes about its business, they won’t die wondering.”
The ultimate test of Bazball’s success is an away series on spinning tracks in India.
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India have not lost a Test series at home for the past decade. Alastair Cook’s team was the last visiting side to win a Test series in India, in 2012.