Stokes urges English batters to find their own way to negate 'Bumrah' threat

By Real11 - Feb 14 2024 132 Views

Stokes urges English batters to find ways to score runs against Bumrah

There’s no team plan as such to deal with the Jasprit Bumrah threat, says England skipper Ben Stokes. Bumrah has been the pick of the bowlers for India, taking 15 wickets across the opening two test matches. He has been right on the money with his subtle variations on tracks that so far have assisted the fast bowlers. What’s dismayed England the most is how their best player, Joe Root, has struggled in these conditions. Root, who usually thrives in such conditions, has struggled off late particularly against Bumrah. 

Addressing the press ahead of the third Test, Stokes has urged his batters to devise their own methods to tackle Bumrah while emphasising that they ought to find ways to keep the scoreboard ticking against the No. 1 Test bowler, much like they have done against India’s spin bowling department in the two matches so far. 

“No not really," Stokes said when asked if there are plans of any sort in place for India's best bowler. "Jasprit Bumrah is an unbelievable bowler. He's proven that for a very long time and has performed really well in the two games. I think everyone has got their own way of trying to deal with Bumrah but we do have to score runs off him as well and that's what we'll try to do. But when that doesn't work you just have to give credit to the bowler and Jasprit's been outstanding the first two games.

"We've all got our own processes against every single bowler and there's no team way of playing anyone. But as we always try to do we'll be trying to keep the focus around us."

Scoring runs against Bumrah will be one of the toughest challenges that Stokes and co will have to face in what will be his landmark 100th Test. There will be much fanfare from the Barmy Army in particular and a handful of presentations are on course for the 32 year old, but Stokes wants to get that done quickly so that he can solely focus on what matters the most; going 2-1 up in the series. 

"I'm looking forward to getting the presentation done and dusted, then everything can be on the cricket," Stokes said. "I'm proud to say that I've been able to play a part in 100 Tests, because it's quite a lot - it's a lot of warm-ups. It's one more game and hopefully there's a lot more to come.

"There have been some great times in an England shirt and some not so great times. That is what's great about professional sport. I've been able to make sure every day is a learning day, whether it be good or bad. Later down the line, when I'm a bit older and maybe not playing, is when I'll have more of a chance to reflect on everything I've done on the field."

Does he have a personal favourite Test match?

There have been a couple, but I judge performances on the outcome of the game. Cape Town in 2019 (it was 2020) is one of my favourites. Day five, going to the last hour of the game and I had a good game as an all-rounder. I took some catches, scored some runs, took some wickets and we ended up winning. That is what I judge my personal performance on, having an influence on us winning the game," he replied.

"We have an unbelievable fanbase wherever we go in the world. We appreciate them so much. You can feel that because of how appreciative we are of the people who watch and support us. Even through all the bad times as well. You can have some sort of reference point to that."

England head into Rajkot level at 1-1 and Stokes believes it’s a “fair reflection” of the cricket both the sides have played so far. He also feels that 2-1 is up for the taking if they play to their potential. 

"It could be too hot, some might say. 1-1 is a fair reflection of the cricket that has been played in the first two games. The focus is on this game and then everything after that. If we play anywhere near to our capability, we'll give ourselves a good chance of winning. If we do play good cricket, then the results looks after themselves."

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