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Ben Stokes gave India the upper hand, feels Ian Chappell

Chappell added that India skipper Rohit Sharma took full advantage of the tentative field placings on day four of the Ranchi Test with a thoughtful innings

PTI Sydney Published 11.03.24, 04:28 PM
Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell File photo

Legendary Australian cricketer Ian Chappell has punched holes in England skipper Ben Stokes' aggressive leadership tactics during the just-concluded five-Test series against India, saying some of his decisions were responsible for the visitors' 1-4 series humiliation.

He said that while the need of the hour on the third evening of the fourth Test in Ranchi was to give the ball to pace stalwart Jimmy Anderson to make early breakthroughs, Stokes decided to bowl part-time spinner Joe Root, thus missing a trick.


"On the third evening, Stokes desperately needed to start India's chase with his best two bowlers and try to claim at least one wicket. Incredibly, he gave the ball to a part-timer, Joe Root, and ignored the experienced, probing bowling of Jimmy Anderson. India took full advantage and scored an invaluable 40 runs off just eight overs," said Chappell in his column for ESPNcricinfo.

India did not lose a wicket in the post-tea session on day three, scoring 40 invaluable runs to put the pressure back on England. India won the Test by five wickets to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series.

"Stokes missed a trick in Ranchi. He then compounded his error by allowing too many easy singles on the final day (day four) by resorting to some cautious field placings. At a time when Stokes needed to be extremely brave as captain and hope he got lucky, he was abnormally conservative." "India probably would still have won but at least by going on the attack, Stokes would have given England their best chance of an upset victory." He said that Stokes could probably take a lesson or two from former Pakistan skipper Javed Miandad, who was a "leadership master" in trying situations.

Chappell added that India skipper Rohit Sharma took full advantage of the tentative field placings on day four of the Ranchi Test with a thoughtful innings, and India's solid opening partnership helped seal victory.

"By allowing easy singles, Stokes gave his opponents the upper hand. He also needed to use the experience and guile of Anderson to try and force the issue on the third evening but instead relied on the part-time spin of Root." Chappell said that Kuldeep Yadav ripped open England batters' vulnerabilities to quality wrist spin, adding that R Ashwin did the job by decimating the lower order.

"In the final Test (in Dharamsala), England again capitulated to spin -- this time it was the wrist version, from the talented Kuldeep Yadav, who broke open England's vulnerable batting order while R Ashwin plundered the bottom half as offspin was again dominant.

"India have been getting stronger in this series, while England are regularly being overwhelmed by spin. They're fortunate it's the final Test. Despite all the feel-good stories and bold predictions, India and Australia are still flexing their muscles as dominant teams," Chappell added.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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