One of the key characteristics of England’s new, aggressive approach in Test cricket, now officially called ‘Bazball’ according to the Collins dictionary, is Joe Root nonchalantly reverse scooping even the fastest of fast bowlers. However, Root’s sensational form over the past couple of years hasn’t quite been on display in the 2023 World Cup. Before England’s match against the Netherlands on Wednesday, Root had scores of 77, 82, 11, 2, 3, 0 and 13. The former England captain often failed to survive the first 10 overs.
Against the Netherlands in Pune though, Root did survive the first 10 overs and was putting on a decent looking partnership with Dawid Malan. However, the stand was on 85 off 80 when Root decided to bring the reverse scoop out off the second ball of the 21st over. It didn’t quite work out for him though, as Dutch pacer Logan van Beek saw Root’s extremely premature trigger movement and sent it in back of a length. The ball went between Root’s legs and crashed on to the stumps. Root fell for a score of 28 off 35.
Root’s dismissal triggered a middle order collapse for England that led to them being 192/6 in the 36th over. However, then came an incredible counter-attacking partnership for the seventh wicket between Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes. The pair put up 129 runs off just 81 balls and while Woakes fell on 51 off 45, Stokes scored 108 in 84 balls. It helped England fight back and put up a huge total of 339/9.
England are looking for just their second victory in an utterly forgettable 2023 World Cup campaign. They are currently outside the places for qualifying for even the Champions Trophy but a victory would put them well within the race. England, who are the defending champions, have secured just two points in seven matches, the only team to have won just one game thus far in the tournament. They are bottom of the table with a net run rate of -1.504 before the start of Wednesday’s match, which is the second worst after Sri Lanka’s -1.160.