Mitchell Johnson advises ‘one of the best’ Joe Root to snub Bazball | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Joe Root is their Steve Smith': Mitchell Johnson wants England star to snub Bazball approach after India series loss

Feb 27, 2024 07:09 PM IST

Joe Root has scored 210 runs in four matches thus far in the ongoing Test series against India.

Veteran Australian paceman Micthell Johnson gave his honest take on Joe Root's desperate attempt to adopt the aggressive approach with the bat to match the tunes of other English batters in their 'Bazball' approach. The former English captain has been a run-machine for his side in red-ball cricket for the past decade but his form in the ongoing Test series against India has become the talk of the town. Root, who is known for his solid technique and temperament, was seen trying to go the attacking way against the Indian bowlers which backfired for him.

Joe Root has not been at his best in recent times
Joe Root has not been at his best in recent times

However, the 33-year-old switched back to his traditional approach in the first innings of the Ranchi Test which did wonders for him. The talismanic batter scored an unbeaten 122 runs from 272 balls to give England an upper edge in the first innings which the tourists bottled later in the match.

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Johnson, who is known for his honest opinions, in his column on Nightly, wrote about Root's aggressive batting approach in Stokes and McCullum's regime which has not worked well for him thus far.

"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," Johnson wrote.

Also Read | Geoffrey Boycott burns 'reckless, cocky' England after 'best team' India hand Ben Stokes and Co. Bazball reality

The former pacer dissected Root's batting and said his batting technique and temperament are similar to premier Aussie Test batters Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.

"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.

The English batting maestro has scored 210 runs in four matches thus far in the Test series against India as the visitors are missing his solidity in the middle order on tricky batting surfaces.

"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," Johnson further added.

The Bazball approach has helped England display an exciting brand of cricket in front of the world but at the same time, they have failed to produce consistent results.

Meanwhile, Johnson suggested that Root should play the traditional way which suits him better as England have other batters who can play the aggressive brand of cricket.

"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.

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