Highlights

  • The crowds are now starting to come back to Test cricket: Ian Botham
  • "You are entertainers at the end of the day"
  • "People don’t want to see someone score 1.2 runs per hour"

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Ian Botham credits England for infusing life into Test cricket | India vs England

Since Brendon McCullum and Stokes became head coach and captain respectively, England has redefined the way the traditional format is played.

Ian Botham credits England for infusing life into Test cricket | India vs England

Legendary all-rounder Ian Botham feels that England's ultra-aggressive 'Bazball' approach under Ben Stokes has infused new life into Test cricket.

Since Brendon McCullum and Stokes became head coach and captain respectively, England has redefined the way the traditional format is played.

“You just have to look at the crowds. The crowds are now starting to come back to Test cricket,” Botham told 'SENQ 693'.

“Playing against India 20-30 years ago in India, the grounds were heaving. Suddenly, the IPL came along and so did one-day cricket and the crowds then plummeted. People are now coming back and wanting to see (Bazball)."

The former captain said England have won more Test matches than lost them after the introduction of 'Bazball'.

"You are entertainers at the end of the day and if you want people to come to the games, you have to entertain. They don’t want to see someone score 1.2 runs per hour, you want to see guys just boss the game.

“You are going to lose one or two games here or there but England have played 15 and won 12. England sells out games across all five days now which was just unheard of.

“Test cricket is now healthier than it has been for a long time,” said Botham who took 383 wickets and scored 5200 runs from 102 Tests between 1977 and 1992.

Botham also suggested that other teams are also wanting to play like England.

“It’s rubbed off (onto other teams). Quite often, you see sides who are three or four wickets down and (the bowling team) seem to relax.

“When you’ve got your foot on the throat, you have got to keep it there and do the job. Test cricket has become more impressive which I think is important.” England are currently tied 1-1 in a five-match Test series in India. The third Test begins in Rajkot on February 15.


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