England are eager to unleash ‘Bazball’ on their Test tour of India next year, according to opener Zak Crawley.
England are scheduled to tour India in January-March 2024 and while Crawley thinks it presents them with an “amazing opportunity” to showcase ‘Bazball’, he is also aware that adapting to the conditions will be the key.
“I don’t really know much about their grounds,” Crawley was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo after the conclusion of the Ashes series against Australia.
The five-match Test series gets underway in Hyderabad with the first Test scheduled from January 25-29. The second Test is in Visakhapatnam (February 2-6), the third in Rajkot (February 15-19), the fourth in Ranchi (February 23-27) and the fifth and final Test will be played in Dharamsala (March 7-11).
Among the five venues, the last time Hyderabad and Rajkot hosted a Test was in 2018, while Ranchi and Visakhapatnam last played hosts in 2019. Dharamsala hosted its only Test in 2017, against Australia.
“Sometimes in India, it seams and swings a bit — and they’ve got unbelievable seamers — so hopefully there are a couple of pitches there that are like that as well, that will suit us a bit more,” Crawley said.
With the ODI World Cup occupying centre stage in the last quarter this year, England’s Test cricketers will get an extended break before their next assignment in India. “I can’t remember having six months off (between Tests) before,” Crawley said.
Crawley made 480 runs with a hundred and two fifties at an average of 53.33 in the Ashes and his strike rate was a stunning 88.72.
He was England’s highest scorer. He wants to carry on with his ‘Bazball’ form in India as well.
“I’ll tick off a bit of T20 and hopefully a bit of white-ball stuff somewhere, but then (getting) back into it in India will be an amazing opportunity for our team to see how we go in those conditions,” he said.
“But if it’s spinning... I feel like we play spin really well as well. We’ll just have to adapt, see what we get. But they are pretty unknown grounds — I don’t know if they’re going to be raggers like Ahmedabad and Chennai, where we were last time,” he added.