Euro 2020 Special

What Has Led To England’s Resurgence In Test Cricket?

Test cricket for the last 140 years has seen to be played in a simple template. Teams winning the toss usually love to bat first as chasing totals in the fourth innings of the match is considered one of the toughest tasks in Test cricket. But this English side under the tutelage of Ben Stokes, the captain and Brendon McCullum the head coach is ripping this template apart.

At the toss of the Edgbaston Test against India, Stokes won the toss and chose to bowl first, stating that he backs his team to chase any total in the second innings. There was serious credence behind this decision, as this English team came into this match on the back of three consecutive successful run chases.

A key thing to remember here is that Stokes and McCullum took over when the team had won just once in seventeen matches. They are still in the bottom half of the World Test Championship standings. Such was the dire straits English cricket found itself in but now all the media wants to talk about is how ‘Bazball’ is revolutionising Test cricket. So how did this resurgence come about? Find out here.



So first things first, what is ‘Bazball’? It is strictly a philosophy of cricket where players can express themselves freely on the field without much afterthought. The concept of Bazball is to put the opposition under pressure while batting by being aggressive with shot-making. It doesn’t mean the players need to be reckless but with aggressive intent, whether it is running hard between the wickets or scoring boundaries off loose deliveries.



It is all too easy to say in theory but the reality of it is that you need batters who are capable of playing in such a manner. The current English side have found two of their best batters in superb form currently. The two Yorkshire lads, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root are in exceptional red-ball form and they have helped make this philosophy of ‘Bazball’ successful.

Bairstow and Root are two of the highest run-getters in this cycle of the World Test Championship and the duo have made run-scoring seem to be the easiest thing in cricket.



Not everything that has to do with the resurgence of Test cricket in England has to do with their batters, their bowlers have contributed their fair share in this success and none more than the iconic combination of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. The old dogs of English cricket, Anderson and Broad were left out of the tour of the Caribbean and there was a fear that we may never see them bowling again in tandem.

The first task for Ben Stokes as captain was to bring back the experience of Broad and Anderson and it has done wonders for the team in the past four matches.



Without taking too much credit away from the English team, one has to acknowledge that the pitches in the past four matches have been super flat. There hasn’t been enough movement whether it is for the spinners or the pacers and the pitches have gotten better with the progression of the match, making chasing totals in the second innings a lot easier.

A lot has to do with the current batch of Dukes balls as well. The current batch hasn’t done nearly enough when the ball is new and has gotten soft way too easily, making it harder for the seamers to extract any reverse swing either. It was unusual to see the number of times the ball had to be changed in the previous Test match. It seemed like after every five overs, the umpires were out with their ball testers trying to fit the ball through the two holes and more often than not the ball was out of shape only for it to be changed again in the next few overs.

Read: 6IXTY: A Glance at the Rules of the New Cricket Phenomenon




Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.