NEW DELHI: Cricketing legend Geoffrey Boycott accused the England team of “losing the plot” and criticized their overly aggressive batting approach in a scathing assessment of their performance in the second Test against India.
Boycott, writing in his column for The Telegraph, lambasted England for what he perceived as a reckless pursuit of attacking cricket, particularly in the fourth innings chase of 399 runs.He argued that England’s “Bazball” mentality, epitomized by Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, led to their downfall.

“Bazball is great entertainment when it comes off. But once you believe in an ideal over substance then you have lost the plot,” Boycott wrote, highlighting England’s propensity to prioritize aggression over solidity.

Pointing to Joe Root‘s frenetic innings of 16 off ten balls, Boycott lamented the departure from Root’s usual composed approach, attributing his dismissal to an ill-advised attempt at aggressive strokeplay.
“Joe Root was dancing down the pitch trying to hit over the top and very soon swiped it up in the air. He only scored 16,” Boycott observed, emphasizing the failure of England’s aggressive mindset.
Boycott also criticized England’s broader batting philosophy, suggesting that the influence of Twenty20 cricket has led to a mindset where every ball must be attacked aggressively, akin to cricket’s answer to baseball.

“Twenty20 cricket seems to have got in their head and made them think that every ball must be scored off with an aggressive stroke, sweep, swipe or cross-batted shot,” Boycott remarked, highlighting the team’s departure from traditional Test cricket principles.
Despite England’s valiant effort in the fourth innings, Boycott questioned the team’s approach, emphasizing the importance of substance over style in Test cricket. He referenced England’s previous struggles in the Ashes series, where a similar approach led to defeat.
“You would have thought England had learned from giving away the Ashes last summer. The ‘gung ho’ batting at Edgbaston and Lord’s gave two Test matches away,” Boycott recalled, urging England to prioritize building substantial innings over aggressive shot-making.

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With the series level at 1-1, Boycott urged England to reassess their approach heading into the third Test in Rajkot, emphasizing the need for a more balanced and measured batting performance.
(With agencies inputs)

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