India captain Rohit Sharma punctured England’s Bazball pride ahead of the fifth and final Test at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. Attending the press conference on the eve of the fifth Test, Rohit said he still doesn’t know what exactly Bazball means. Bazball is a term that gained popularity ever since former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, fondly known as Baz, became the head coach of England’s Test team and Ben Stokes took over the captaincy duties from Joe Root.

India's captain Rohit Sharma during the pre-match press conference ahead of the fifth Test cricket vs England, in Dharamshala(PTI)
India’s captain Rohit Sharma during the pre-match press conference ahead of the fifth Test cricket vs England, in Dharamshala(PTI)

England have been determined to break the conventions of Test cricket by playing positive cricket from the word go. It also brought them great success till this series in India. This was the first defeat England suffered in a Test series in McCullum and Stokes’ Bazball era.

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India captain Rohit admitted that England have played better cricket than what the Joe Root-led side played the last time they toured here in 2021 but he was yet to figure out the true meaning of Bazball.

“I just don’t know what Bazball means. I haven’t seen wild swinging from anyone. England have played better cricket than they were here last time. But I still don’t know what Bazball means,” Rohit told reporters on Wednesday.

Rohit also took a witty dig at England opener Ben Duckett, who had said that India’s Yashasvi Jaiswal has learnt to play attacking cricket after watching Bazball.

“When you see players from the opposition playing like that, it almost feels like we should take some credit that they’re playing differently than how other people play Test cricket,” Duckett had said.

Rohit reminded Duckett about India wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, who is currently out of action due to multiple injuries he suffered during a car crash in December 2022.

“There was a guy called Rishabh Pant in our team, probably Ben Duckett hasn’t seen him play,” Rohit said.

Jaiswal has been the highest run-scorer of this series by some distance. The left-hander has amassed 655 runs in four Test at an average of 93. He hit back-to-back double centuries in the third and the fourth Test. His strike rate of 78 is the second-best among all batters who have scored more than 650 runs in a bilateral.

‘A series of comebacks for India’: Rohit Sharma

Talking about the series in general, Rohit said the Indian team’s ability to bounce back from tough situations has been the standout aspect of the side’s performance.

“It has been a series of comebacks for us. Whenever we were put under pressure we were able to put the pressure back on the opposition. That was pleasing for me,” he said.

On the series finale here, Rohit said he expects the Dharamsala track to be a good one.

“Looks like a typical Indian pitch. There will be some movement when the temperature drops but looks like a good pitch,” he said.


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