Updated February 24th, 2024 at 20:55 IST

'It’s not about being arrogant...': Joe Root defends Bazball after century in 4th Test

Joe Root smashed a brilliant century in the fourth Test match against India in Ranchi. He remained unbeaten at 122 at the end of England's first innings.

Joe Root | Image:AP
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On Saturday, senior England batsman Joe Root clarified that his team's 'Bazball' strategy in Test cricket isn't about arrogance but rather about securing the optimal outcome for the team. Following England's staggering 434-run defeat to India in the third Test in Rajkot, there was considerable backlash regarding their ultra-aggressive approach under the guidance of coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

Joe Root defends Bazball after century in 4th Test

Joe Root smashed a brilliant century in the fourth Test match against India in Ranchi. He remained unbeaten at 122 off 274 balls at the end of England's first innings. After the conclusion of his masterful knock, Root touched upon the criticism that were directed at the England team's approach after the third Test match.   

"There have been times recently when the best way to do that is by being a bit more aggressive. It's like if I connect with that shot and execute it better, (Jasprit) Bumrah will be under pressure and our outlook on the game is very different again.

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"It’s not about being arrogant... Bazball is a word that’s used a lot but that’s your word, that's not how we look at it," Root told reporters after the end of second day's play in the fourth Test here.

"It’s about how can we get the best out of each other as a team, how we’re going to get better as a group. You’re not always going to get it right but we’ll continue to keep trying to improve." Root emphasised the importance of adapting and evolving as a batter to counter the skills of world class bowlers.

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"The reason I’ve played as many games as I have is that I’ve not wanted to stand still as a player, I have to try to keep evolving. If you keep on playing the same way over and over again, teams work you out, figure you out and find your weaknesses.

"They are world-class bowlers for a reason and there’s a lot of information out there. So if you don’t try to get better and find different ways of scoring runs, you’ll get found out.

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"You’re not always going to get it right but if you’re not willing to make mistakes every now and then and sometimes get it wrong it doesn’t matter anyway because they’re still going to find you out." Root returned to form with an unbeaten 122 from 274 balls in a classical Test match innings that helped England recover from 112 for 5 at lunch on day one to post 353.

In response, India concluded the day's play at 219 for 7, still behind by 134 runs on a sluggish pitch exhibiting unusually low bounce.

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"It felt like it's been a long time coming, it's been a lean series individually for me. You pride yourself as a senior player, especially with the history I've had in this part of the world, to try and make contributions that put you in positions to win games.

"It's been disappointing but the fact I have got quite a lot of experience has been able to keep me calm and trust the stuff I am doing. The way I'm preparing meant it was going to come at some point. It was nice to do it yesterday when we were in the situation we were in at lunchtime." 

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(With PTI inputs)

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Published February 24th, 2024 at 20:55 IST