There was a time when a batter used to take around 100 or 150 balls to complete a fifty which used to include a lot of focus and patience on the wicket, whereas nowadays most of the batters play at pretty good strike rate which leads to complete their half century in just 80-100 balls. The change in approach and mentality of the players is the main reason behind this new attacking revolution in test cricket. Let’s look in detail why this rapid change in playstyle is coming in test cricket.
Playstyle Of Batsmen Before And After 2020 In Test Cricket
I still remember the approach of test batters before 2020 was quite defensive, specially the openers. Usually the batsmen who opens for their team used to take decent amount of time to settle down on crease.
If a team want to achieve the target of 300 runs, it used to take around 2 days which includes 5-6 sessions easily to reach. Moreover, a batter used to play as much grounded shots as he can play.
But after 2020, the situation of test cricket is drastically changed. Whereas, now a opening pair of team can make easily 100 in just 20-25 overs as they don’t take that much time to settle down on the pitch.
As I above said, teams used to make 300 runs in 2 days, but now teams like Australia scores 327 runs in only one day that too in the final of world test championship against India.
We can clearly see, nowadays players mindset and playstyle pretty much changed with the passage of time. Most of the batters adapted new fearless and attacking approach in this five day long format.
Why Batsmen’s Adopted Aggressive Approach In Test
Actually there are two answer for this question the first one is :
- As the new modern and young cricketers are coming in cricket where most of the players likes to play by dominating the opposition bowler.
- Some example are Indian test opener Shubman Gill and England top order batsman Harry Brook. If you ever see their batting you will notice, they always looks up to scoring runs quickly no matter how big and reputed bowler bowling on other end.
- Then there are some players whose playstyle is quite simple, which is to see and hit the ball according to its length, for that it they have to take risk they will do that as well.
- Players like Rishabh Pant and Ben Stokes are those kind of players who doesn’t care how many wickets have fallen and how the conditions are, they knows only one thing which is to put the bowler under pressure.
The second possible answer behind the attacking approach of test batter is :
- The various league cricket like IPL is the reason behind change in natural game of batters. It becomes quite difficult for players to adjust their game as most of the time they plays short format cricket.
- Players like Virat Kohli, Joe Root, and Steve Smith once used to score 100 runs in 250-300 balls whereas now they completes their milestone less than 200 balls.
- Latest example can be seen in ongoing ashes 2023 series, where Joe Root played exceptional knock of 118 runs in just 152 balls. He is the same Joe Root who once used to take more than 200-250 balls to complete his century.
Top Teams Who Are Dominating Modern Day Test Cricket
The team who changed its dynamics after the loss of 2016 t20 world cup, England is the team behind this new attacking revolution in test cricket.
They are the one who introduced the famous “Bazball” term for their fearless and attacking play of game. The moment Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes taken the post of Coach and Captain for England, it suddenly became one of the most dangerous test side.
After the resign of Joe Root as captain, Ben Stokes bold captaincy and playstyle captured the attention of world towards England cricket test side.
Suddenly England’s approach towards test completely changed where players like Joe Root playing reverse scoop shots in almost every match that too for sixes. It actually helped to test cricket to regain its popularity.
The real challenge for England will be to defeat India in its home in upcoming series in 2024 january by continuing their Bazball approach. Moreover, it will be quite tough for England to execute their attacking playstyle in India.
The takeover of Pat Cummins as Captain of Australia really helped them to regain their dominance in test cricket, as it was missing when Tim Paine was leading the team.
When we talk about attacking playstyle in test cricket, Australia has done that job really well as they score most of their runs at the average of 4-5 runs in every session.
Players like Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, and Steve Smith has been really boosted up their strike rate and approach along with England in order to counter them.
What we can expect in upcoming years
It’s really easy to say that, this attacking revolution in test cricket for sure will going to last for upcoming years as well. As cricket is getting modernized every year and domination of league cricket will also going to inspire batters to play at quick strike rate in test format.
Moreover, this aggressive batting style by batsmen’s makes test cricket more exciting for the fans to watch and support in the ground. It can play crucial role in the survival of red ball cricket to for long period of time.
Furthermore, it also gives us chance to see the aggressive side in terms of batting of our main beloved players like Rohit, Virat, Smith, Kane, Root etc as they are near to their end of the career.