Bazball unpacked: how England have turned up the dial in Test cricket

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Andrew Samson takes a statistical deep dive into England’s seismic change in approach and explains how the data supports it

If one match captures it, it was England’s 74-run win in Rawalpindi against Pakistan last December. With hindsight, we can imagine exactly how England planned to go about this game, something along the lines of: “This pitch is flat, and we will need to bowl at least 250 overs to have a chance of getting Pakistan out twice. Given that it is winter, and will be getting dark early, there will probably be around 400 overs in the match. So that means we can’t bat for more than 150 overs across our two innings. If Pakistan score at their usual 3.5 runs an over across their two innings, they will get about 875. Which means we need 900 ourselves, and we need them in 150 overs.” The result? England scored 921 runs in 136.5 overs (a run-rate of 6.73) and bowled Pakistan out for 579 and 268 in a total of 252 overs, to win with around 20 minutes of light remaining. Bazball buys the bowlers time and never more so than in ’Pindi, a ground where Australia’s visit nine months earlier returned just 24 wickets and three innings in a soporific draw.

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Written by Andrew Samson, Ali Martin and Andy Bull
This news first appeared on under the title “Bazball unpacked: how England have turned up the dial in Test cricket”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.