Lyon says Aussies won’t copy Bazball, Marnus can block cop, Joe Root’s Dean Jones moment


It was the English Test revolution that captivated world cricket, but don’t expect Bazball’s approach to be replicated by Australia anytime soon.

England’s thrilling 74-point win over Pakistan on a lifeless Rawalpindi ground will go down as the best test of 2022, with the tourists trumping their own efforts on home soil earlier this year.

Taking a fearless approach to Test cricket, England scored over six runs in every innings and set themselves a generous reporting target of 343 in four sessions.

The win prompted observers including Mark Waugh to say the approach had changed the way Test cricket would be played, with England seven out of eight under coach Brendon McCullum – known as Baz – and Captain Ben Stokes.

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The Tourists chased fourth-inning scores of 378, 299 and 296 throughout their home summer, scoring at or above five-plus in each chase.

Zak Crawley of England Bats. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

England’s work has been watched closely by the Australian side, with ‘Bazball’ jokes made in the nets over the winter and Rawalpindi’s test attracting plenty of attention in the current series against the West Indies.

But according to Nathan Lyon, the approach will not seep into Australian cricket anytime soon. “I watched it, it’s damn exciting,” Lyon said.

“Hats off to Baz and Stokesy going there. I know what that Rawalpindi wicket looks like. They found a way to win a Test there. But we all have our own ways of playing Test cricket and the ours is going well, we don’t need to change ours at the moment.

Australia also made it clear that they have months to formulate plans on how to stop England’s all-out approach, with a summer at home and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India before that.

And they are unlikely to receive early training against such attacking cricket in Adelaide this week, with West Indies officials also certain Bazball is not for them.

“You play the best team in the world. You can’t get on fire,” assistant Roddy Estwick said.

“I know everyone has seen how England play and thinks that’s the way to go. Well that’s how they want to play, that’s fine. But back home we want to be the as patient as possible.

“What they are doing is nothing new. It is surprising that everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.

“You play what you see. If you look at this ground, it was so flat in Pakistan that you could score five points without any problem. When he bites and does all kinds of things, it becomes a different ball game.

Nathan Lyon of Australia celebrates with his team mates.

Nathan Lyon of Australia celebrates with his team mates. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Marnus could face a barrage of bumpers

Jofra Archer’s former bowling mentor claims the English fast would have noticed Alzarri Joseph’s barrage of bouncers at Marnus Labuschagne in Perth.

Labuschagne will enter the Adelaide Test following a brilliant series opener against West Indies, scoring 204 and 104no at the Optus Stadium.

But it is the performance of the right-hander in a single spell that interests the West Indies.

Rebounded by Joseph on the fourth morning, Labuschagne topped one ball for six before the next ball slammed into his bat and into his helmet before being caught.

Labuschagne was spared when Joseph overstepped, but West Indies bowling coach Rod Estwick has indicated his side plan to replicate the tactic in Adelaide.

“We’ll take a look,” Estwick said.

“We’ll see if he’s uncomfortable here and then we’ll try to target them as much as possible.”

And as a man who coached Archer in Barbados as a teenager and keeps in regular contact with England quickly, Estwick claimed it was likely the 27-year-old would come after Labuschagne when Ashes next year.

The cricket world is so small now, you can’t hide,” Estwick said.

“And once a team reveals a weakness, the other teams will take a look.

“I’m sure Jofra Archer, wherever he’s sitting, will take a look and tick boxes and things like that. That’s the way cricket goes, you can’t hide.

“But if Marnus thinks he has a weakness, I’m sure he’ll go and work on it too. If you’re a professional cricketer, those things happen.

The West Indians’ comments come after South Africa captain Dean Elgar said the ‘strange bouncer’ seemed like the best tactic to topple Labuschagne in all three Tests this summer.

South Africa will have one of the most impressive pace attacks in the world when they play in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney with Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje.

Labuschagne said after his century he was more than capable of isolating Joseph’s plight, with Australia chasing fast runs in their second run.

But the Queenslander added that he would work closely on the short ball.

“A lot of West Indian bowlers play really far out of the crease, so sometimes that angle is pretty hard to get inside the line of the ball,” Labuschagne said.

“When guys play a little closer to the stumps, it’s easier to get your head inside the ball so you can duck or get on top of the ball.

“He’s the one I’ll always watch.

“Watching some of my pulling shots, making sure I open my left hip to access the ball. Making sure I’m on top of the rebound.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 03: Marnus Labuschagne of Australia watches the ball pass over the infielders during four runs during day four of the first Test match between Australia and West Indies at Optus Stadium on 03 December 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

(Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Illness can’t prevent Root during test

James Anderson revealed team-mate Joe Root was “vomiting all game long” as England secured a remarkable 74-point victory in the final session of day five of the first Test at Rawalpindi.

About 13 to 14 members of the traveling party were affected by a viral infection, with about half that number of members of the playing team on the eve of the match, and questions were raised about the postponement of the start of the one day game.

On the morning of the match, England handed a surprise first cap to Will Jacks, with Ben Foakes unable to take the pitch due to illness.

Root had been one of the few to practice the day before the game started, but Anderson explained that he had been sick throughout the game and said it had been a difficult week.

“I can’t really put it into words because it’s difficult. It was a bad start to the week,” the 40-year-old said.

“In fact, on the morning of the match, not knowing if we are going to have 11 players on the pitch or going to bed the day before not knowing if we are going to wake up and that there will be enough fit players.

“But then the way the guys stood up and really cracked up, there was no whining.

“Rooty was off the pitch every half hour vomiting throughout the game which was an incredible effort on his part to beat the way he did.”

Dean Jones vomited on the pitch as the heat took its toll during his momentous double century in India’s 1986 tied test.

Root scored 73 runs from 68 balls as England scored an impressive 264 runs in 35.5 overs at a run rate of over 7.50 in the second innings to give Pakistan 343 wins.

The Yorkshireman even briefly switched to left-handed batting for two balls during his innings in an effort to upset the bowler, showing no obvious signs of discomfort.

Anderson continued, “Then to be on the court. An incredible effort from everyone. And I still can’t believe we got a result on this pitch. It’s just amazing.

Anderson has played nearly two decades of Test cricket but believes England’s win at Rawalpindi is among his best.

England struggled to claim a result, fabricating the game with a risky declaration on the fourth night, inviting Pakistan to push for victory while giving themselves plenty of time to eliminate the hosts.

The stubbornly flat pitch and rapidly waning light on the final day added further pressure on England as they pushed for victory, and Anderson praised the effort of the whole team.

“Guys say it’s the best win away from home but I can’t remember a better one at home either to be honest,” he said.

RAWALPIDI, PAKISTAN - DECEMBER 05: Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach and Ben Stokes of England celebrate winning the First Test match between Pakistan and England at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on December 05, 2022 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Jack Leach is mobbed after taking the last wicket. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

“Forcing the result on that wicket took an absolutely gigantic effort from everyone, the way we hit in the first innings, 650 odd runs in 100 odd overs was outstanding. And everyone contributed to it, which is great.

“We knew we were going to declare and have a bowl of it that night (on the fourth day). We didn’t necessarily think it would be at tea. But the way we hit allowed us to declare to the tea and dangle them a carrot, which is what on this wicket I think we had to do.

“Because, as we saw at the end of the day, when they had just beaten to death, it was very difficult to get anything out of it.

“We knew it was going to be nervous. But the way we stuck to our task was just brilliant.


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