Gutsy England continue ‘Bazball’ approach in the 1st Ashes Test

England scored a run rate of 5.04 and declared at 398/8 on day 1 of the First Test

(Cricket news) England lived up to the expectations by playing Day one of the Ashes first Test ‘Bazball style’. Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked like a pretty flat pitch. The first ball of the match by Pat Cummins was smashed for four by Zak Crawley. England did have spells where they respected good bowling but the intent was always there. They lost wickets at regular intervals but England were not letting the scorers rest as they kept playing their shots. Australia left its ego aside and specifically had tactics to counter England’s attack. For example, Pat Cummins kept a deep square and a deep point to new batters which was pretty bizarre.

Joe Root was the star of the day as he remained unbeaten 118 off 152 balls. Root hit 7 fours and 4 sixes in his incredible innings. He hit a few outlandish shots including two reverse scoops over third man against Scott Bolland and Pat Cummins. Zak Crawley was the one who set it up with a 73 ball 61 at the start. Jonny Bairstow returning from injury picked up exactly where he left off by scoring a run-a-ball 78. England scored at 5.04 an over which is ridiculously good even though the pitch had nothing for the bowlers. Nathan Lyon bowled really well as he picked up 4/149 in 29 overs.

Ben Stokes decided to double the fun by declaring the England innings on 393/8. The decision was a very bold one as England could’ve easily added at least 50 runs with a well-set Joe Root on the crease. The declaration probably came to make Australia bat 4 overs on Day 1. It didn’t pay off as Australia managed to hold on and now they will start day 2 in good batting conditions. Only time will tell whether the decision is a good one because the score on this wicket is par at best. However, both Stokes and Brendon McCullum have said on multiple occasions that they will do these types of things regardless.

Also read: Here’s why India Underperformed at the 2023 WTC final


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