Ben Stokes has admitted that these are the ‘toughest conditions’ he has witnessed ever in his Test career, amidst the debate around the pitches being used in India for the England Test series.
The pitches being prepared by India for the home Test series against England have been the central subject of many discussions and after Day 1 of the 4th Test in Ahmedabad, Ben Stokes had no hesitation in admitting that these were the ‘hardest conditions’ he has faced in his career.
Ben Stokes: Played Like 70 Odd Games, But These Conditions Are The Hardest Ones
Ben Stokes isn’t anonymous to playing in India. He has been a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign for a long and has toured India before. But the challenge that he has faced this time around is unparalleled.
After scoring 55 with the bat on the opening day of the 4th and final Test, Ben Stokes managed to guide England to a total of 205 runs. Speaking to media after the end of the first day’s play, the all-rounder had a hearty admission about the conditions that he has played on as a batsman since his arrival.
“I have played like 70 odd games now, these are the hardest conditions that I have faced as a batsman. Obviously, I have played all around the world,” Stokes said.
“I think it is a case of finding it in your own way, it’s not about like you go and say ‘this is what we need to do better as a group’. It is about how we can go about it as individuals and when we come back here next time, (it will be about) how we progressed as individuals because everyone plays in a different way,” he added.
The pitch for the 4th Test between India and England has had a bit to offer to both spinners and pacers. Mohammed Siraj extracted good pace and bounce from the surface early one picking 2 scalps while Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin claimed 7 wickets between them to bundle out the visitors for 205. Washington Sundar also picked a wicket.
Ben Stokes Admits 4th Test Wicket Is Better Than The 3rd Test One
Ben Stokes admitted that different phases of the game threw different challenges at the batsmen, besides claiming that the 4th Test pitch was ‘much better’ than the one prepared for the pink-ball 3rd Test.
“This morning and this afternoon, it was more about the bounce that was an issue rather than the turning in. But later in the day, the bowl started to spin a little bit more. Overall, it is a much better wicket than it was in the last game played here,” the all-rounder said.
When asked whether it was good Indian bowling or poor England batting, Stokes said: “I think it is probably a bit of both.”
With India leading 2-1 in the 4-match series, England is in a must-win situation to level the series. Although Joe Root-led England is already out of the World Test Championship final reckoning, they can still inflict India some damage by knocking them out of the competition too with a win in Ahmedabad.
India is 85/4 currently with Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant at the crease. India is still trailing by 120 runs. Ravichandran Ashwin is still the leading wicket-taker with 27 scalps while Axar Patel who is on a dream run in his debut Test series has already picked up 22 wickets. While the former averages 15.7, the latter averages 10.82.