Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar strongly criticized England’s unconventional fielding approach during the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham. In a closely contested match, led by Ben Stokes, England suffered a narrow defeat, allowing Australia to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
The Three Lions employed various intriguing tactics during the intense match, including declaring on the first day and skipper Stokes implementing a unique fielding strategy during Australia’s batting innings. Of particular note was the implementation of a unique umbrella-like field setup. Referred to as the ‘Brumbrella,’ aimed at dismissing Usman Khawaja on the third day. However, Gavaskar expressed his dissatisfaction with this move, asserting that such a setup was primarily for television spectacle rather than a genuine attempt to take wickets.
“The Ashes series in England seems to have caught the imagination of the cricketing public there. England are batting with a freedom that has not been seen before and more shots. Both orthodox and unorthodox are being played under the regime of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum than before the duo took over. That’s where Bazball stops,”
“While bowling England are not doing anything different from earlier times. Yes, the field placements have been novel, with three men in catching positions on both sides of the wicket. I have called it a field for TV rather than one to actually get any wicket,”
he further added.
In normal positions England could have pouched catches easily: Gavaskar
“If anything, the few missed opportunities England had could have been easily pouched if these same fielders had been five to 10 paces back in the normal fielding positions. Upfront and that close the fielders had very little time to react to those hard. But uppish pulls, and so could barely get their hands to the catches,”
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