Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Ben Stokes defends fertile ground for spin in India

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Disregarding claims India is handing out spin-friendly shots on purpose, England’s all-rounder Ben Stokes said a test player should be equipped to deal with any situation. He added that India and England, like other cricketing nations, have their own challenges.

Ben Stokes’ comments came after former England captain Michael Vaughan raised a red flag over track rotation hampering test cricket. As England quashed the spin threat from both the field and the Indian bowlers in their first 227-point test win, the hosts clinched a 317-point victory in the second game on a surface that helped relatively more effects.

“The part of being a test beater is you have to be able to handle all types of conditions. India is one of the places where it’s much more difficult for overseas batsmen to come in and be successful, but so are England. And that’s part of the game, the challenges and why we love it, ”Ben Stokes wrote in his column for the Daily Mirror.

While the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai got spinners lips licking, the refurbished Motera’s pink Test ball is likely to put the fastest bowlers into play. Ben Stokes also echoed similar sentiments while adding that no one knows how the new surface will play out.

“Usually all over the world whenever these pink ball games are played there is always a period where the ball starts to do a bit under the lights and that brings the designers right into the game. For us here, that will be huge, ”said Ben Stokes.

“And on a whole new ground that looks pretty impressive, no one will know exactly how he will react. We have a good spin department, but hopefully with the right conditions we certainly have a sewing department to strongly support them, ”added Ben Stokes.

Notably, England are the latest overseas team to win a series of tests in India. Sir Alastair Cook’s boys beat the hosts 2-1 in the 2012/13 tour.

“The good thing is we know what it takes to win here” – Ben Stokes

Ben stokes
The only window of Ben Stokes in this series is that of Virat Kohli in the first test [Credits: England Cricket]

The series of four tests is stuck at 1-1. Both matches were dictated by the team that won the toss and chose to beat first and then exploit the glaring roughness and cracks that have opened up over the past 2-3 days.

Ben Stokes attributed the trend to “pressure on the scoreboard” because the opening rounds of both tests saw a lot of points on the board.

“The pressure on the scoreboard in the cricket test is probably at its peak in the subcontinent and plays a big role in the attempt to win the match. The good thing is we know what it takes to win here, so it’s about putting that into practice once more, learning what we can from the second test and delivering this week, ”explained Ben Stokes.

The wickets came at a premium for the speedsters in the second test, with all-round star Ben Stokes bowling just two overs in the first innings and none in the second. He hinted that a few more deliveries should be sent with the pink balloon.

“Don’t read too much about the fact that I didn’t play a lot in the second game, I’m sure if it was a green seamstress I would have played a lot more overs. I think there might be more reasons for me to play in the spotlight in the next game if that helps the team, ”added Ben Stokes.

The third test begins on Wednesday February 24. While England must win the remaining two matches to face New Zealand in the World Test Championship final, India must win the series with at least testing margin to qualify for the clash at the top.

Posted on Feb 22, 2021, 12:13 PM


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