Brendon McCullum’s appointment as England’s Test head coach has reinvigorated Test cricket. The ultra-aggressive McCullum in partnership with the captain, Ben Stokes has galvanized the England team. They are now hell-bent on playing a positive brand of cricket. This style of cricket has acquired a new name. It is called the ‘Bazball’.
But there have been certain players who have always played the game in this manner. They have kept the format alive with their positive frame of mind.
We look at 5 such players who played Bazball even before it became a talking point:
#5 David Warner
He is known as the bull. David Warner knows just one style of play. He likes to take on bowlers right from ball one. Warner despite struggling in subcontinental conditions possess a brilliant record in Tests. A veteran of 96 Tests, David Warner is the only contemporary batsman with a triple century to his name. He has amassed 7817 runs at an average of 46.52. Warner’s strike rate in Tests is a massive 71.29. He has scored 24 centuries and 34 half-centuries in Tests.
#4 Brendon McCullum
The player-turned-coach is the man behind the word ‘Bazball’. He knew no other way of batting than to attack. McCullum holds the record for scoring the fastest Test century. He scored 6453 runs in Tests at an average of 38.64. McCullum stroked 12 centuries and 31 half-centuries. He showed a way of countering tough scenarios in the game with ultra-positive cricket. McCullum’s strike rate of 64.60 in Tests doesn’t necessarily do justice to his game.
#3 Rishabh Pant
He has taken off from where another Delhi player left off. Rishabh Pant is arguably the game’s biggest Test superstar currently. There is hardly a doubt that who is the cricketer who entertains the most in Tests. In his yet brief career, Pant has played match-winning innings all across the globe. He has scored 2123 runs in 31 Tests at an average of 43.32. It’s his strike rate of 72.65 that stands out strikingly.
#2 Adam Gilchrist
He redefined modern-day wicketkeeping. Adam Gilchrist was the quintessential keeper-batsman. He changed games batting at the number 7 position. At one stage in his career, Gilchrist averaged more than 60 in Tests. He mostly faced the second new ball and took opponents apart. Gilchrist piled up 5570 runs at an average of 48 in Tests. He brought up 17 centuries in the process. Gilchrist struck at 81.95 in Tests!
#1 Virender Sehwag
The Nawab of Najafgarh, Virender Sehwag revolutionised Test cricket. In an era where openers were keen to just see off the new ball, Sehwag was cut from a different cloth. He put India into the driving seat no sooner than the match started. Sehwag is the only Indian batsman to score two triple centuries in Tests.
He represented India in 104 Tests scoring 8586 runs at an average of 49.34. Sehwag smashed 23 centuries. But he scored all these runs at a strike rate of 82.23. It’s a stat that is unheard of in Tests!