By India Today Sports Desk: Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers has showered praise on England’s approach in Tests, saying they’re playing smart cricket. Australia needs to chase 281 runs to win the first Ashes 2023 Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
De Villiers took to Twitter to hail England’s approach, saying some call it Bazball, while he calls it smart cricket. England restricted Australia to 107 for 3 on Day 4, with the hosts needing another 174 runs to win the match on the final day.
“I never looked at the Birmingham weather leading up to this Test match. The way England played now makes sense. Call it what you want, some say BazBall, I just think it’s smart cricket,” De Villiers posted.
He added that the best teams are prepared to adapt to situations by doing whatever it takes. England declared at 393 for 8 on Day 1 and scored 273 runs in their second innings.
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“The best teams are prepared to adapt and play situations in a way that’ll ultimately put them in a winning position more often than the rest, whether that’s by making bold declarations or playing reverse sweeps a lot, whatever it takes,” De Villiers added.
The South African said everyone has to buy into the philosophy for this plan to work, which he also saw with MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in the IPL as well, while insisting that Australia still have an unlikely chance of winning the match.
“The only way to make it impactful is to have a complete buy in from every individual, no ego’s, no stats driven players, just a full on buy in to be the best team in the world. That’s how I see the Eng team play atm. Also saw that with MSD and co. in the IPL. It’s going to be a fascinating final day. Let’s get it going. Aus still in with a chance here, unlikely, but possible,” De Villiers added.
The game is evenly poised on Day 5 with Australia needing 174 runs to win with seven wickets in hand to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match Ashes 2023 series.