Wasim Jaffer, a former Indian opener, was rather perplexed when England sent Jack Leach, a nightwatchman, when the fourth wicket fell late on Day 2 at Edgbaston.
After winning the recently finished series against New Zealand, the English media predicted that “New England,” led by Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, would play brave cricket even in Test matches.
Wasim Jaffer said that the England captain taking cover against an effective Indian bowling assault was a “backward step” in light of such philosophy. In any case, the strategy failed as Leach was quickly removed for a duck and Stokes was forced to field a few deliveries before the close of Day 2.
Wasim Jaffer Gives His Opinion On BazBall Approach
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Wasim Jaffer gave his opinion on the ‘BazBall’ approach, saying:
“(On whether sending Leach ahead of Stokes was a negative captaincy approach) Yes, we don’t get to see night watchman in BazBall. So definitely in BazBall, this is a backward step.”
Again failing to get the team off to a strong start, stand-in skipper Jasprit Bumrah sent both openers for England, Alex Lees and Zak Crawley, to the pavilion early.
Wasim Jaffer thinks the hosts have attempted a variety of opening combinations for a while now, but they haven’t been successful in maintaining continuity.
England’s Middle Order Stays Under-Pressure As Openers Fail Most Of The Time: Wasim Jaffer
He also discussed how it puts on middle-order players like Joe Root and others when the openers don’t give their team a start. He stated:
“(On whether England’s current opening pair is weakest in Test cricket) Yes and it has been weak since a long time. This is perhaps why Joe Root has to score a lot of runs and hold the team together and he is doing that. Their middle-order comes under pressure as their openers don’t score runs.”
At 84/5 entering Day 3, England is in serious trouble and in risk of gifting India a sizable first-innings advantage.