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File photo of R Ashwin© Instagram

Since Brendon McCullum took over as England’s Test coach, the side clean-sweeped New Zealand 3-0 at home and then went on to win the fifth rescheduled Test against India, thus drawing the series 2-2. In both the contests, what stood out was the aggressive brand of cricket that England displayed. Against India, England registered their highest successful chase ever in Tests of 378 runs. This aggressive brand of cricket has been called ‘Bazball’, derived from McCullum’s nickname Baz as he too played the same aggressive brand of cricket during his playing days.

However, Indian cricket team spinner Ashwin has said that players ‘need to be careful about this brand of cricket.’

“It was amazing to watch, but as a bowler it is quite scary to think where the game is headed,”he said on the Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast. “I definitely think the ball and the pitches have a role to play in how England are playing, permitting a certain brand of cricket.

“I think we need to be careful about this brand of cricket being the way forward. Test cricket has been the same for hundreds of years and there will be games and series that are played like that. Whether it’s the same brand of cricket you play all along is very debatable.”

Ashwin also commented on how there is no longer balance between bat and ball in the ODI format.

“The one-day format used to be a format where bowlers had a say. Even me, as a cricket badger and a cricket nut, I switch off the TV after a point and that’s frankly very scary for the format of the game. When those ebbs and flows go missing, it’s not cricket anymore. It’s just an extended form of T20,” said Ashwin.

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“It’s a question of relevance and I think ODI cricket needs to find its relevance. It needs to find its spot.”

Ashwin has played 86 Tests, 113 ODIs and 51 T20Is for India picking 442, 151 and 61 wickets in the formats respectively.

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