Former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson has said he isn’t sure if Joe Root needs to play Bazball in Tests, especially with England having a lot of attacking players in their side.
Root was a topic of discussion as he struggled in the first two matches and his dismissal in the Rajkot Test was widely criticised. In his column on Nightly, Johnson said that Root is similar to someone like Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne and needs time to settle in.
“Joe Root has been the talk of the cricket world with what would seem a reckless shot choice.”
“His captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum have defended it — as you would expect. McCullum also defended the way Root has been going about it in this new regime.”
“Root is their Smith or Marnus Labuschagne. He is a more correct player. Someone who needs to get himself in, watch the ball and leave it when required,” said Johnson.
Not sure he needs to Bazball: Johnson on Root
Johnson went on to say that England needs to find the right balance between aggression and defence in order to be more successful. Johnson also said that Root has been one of the best for a very long time and doesn’t necessarily need to play in the current regime’s mantra.
“I said this during the Ashes series: It’s not a new thing to be aggressive as a batting unit. If England find the right balance of when to be aggressive and take on an attack and when to defend, they will be in a better place.”
“Again, it’s what I saw playing at first-class level and what I saw watching the Aussies in the 1990s and 2000s.”
“Joe Root has been one of the best for a very long time. I’m not sure he needs to play Bazball, especially when they have plenty of out-and-out attacking players in the team,” said Johnson.
Root would come back to form in the Ranchi Test, but it was after decided to shun the Bazball approach and played out a gritty 122 not out in the first innings. However, this wasn’t enough for England as they lost the match and the series to India on February 26.