England captain Ben Stokes cheekily said that star batter Joe Root hasn’t mentioned overtaking him on the latest ICC Test all-rounder rankings. However, despite being known among the world’s best all-rounders, Stokes did not bowl in the first Test against India as he has been recovering from knee surgery. On the other hand, Root was more than just a part-time off-spin option in the Hyderabad Test and registered figures of 4/79 as well.
Speaking at the press conference, Stokes praised Root’s contributions with the ball. He said, “To also have the benefit of Joe’s bowling out here is obviously massive. I’m surprised he’s not actually mentioned he’s nipped above me, but I think we’re just two people who don’t really care about stuff like that. He’s a great batsman but when his bowling comes into consideration as well, it’s a huge bonus having him out here.”
“I did always say to Joe I thought he underbowled himself as captain, and when he walked off with four-fer I did say to him, ‘see, I told ya I’d make a bowler out of ya’. Having someone like that out here who is not only someone to throw the ball to and change the pace of the game up – he’s bowled me lots of overs, Joe has – then having him batting at four and the runs he’s scored and how important he is to us,” further added Ben Stokes.
Meanwhile, despite being the 10th leading run-scorer in Test history with 11,447 runs, Root has claimed 65 wickets in his 136-match Test career. He also claimed a fifer during the 2020/21 Indian tour and averages 24.84 with the ball in India as well. Ben Stokes also lauded ace pacer James Anderson for his outstanding bowling record in India as well.
“Bringing Jimmy’s experience, the class that he has, is great and I think it also goes under the radar how good his record in India is. Considering what Jimmy is going for – ‘the swing king’ and all that – it just proves how good a bowler he is. He has different skill sets that I will be able to exploit in Indian conditions,” Ben Stokes continued: “It’s not just picking Jimmy for the new ball, it’s the other stuff he possesses as well. It’s great that Jimmy is doing good things for the old boys out there. It’s a huge credit and lots of people should look up to Jimmy considering he is where he is at 41.”
“I think that’s just Jimmy’s attitude. If people can understand when they are not part of the playing XI that they can still have a huge influence on Test match week then that is great. It’s small things like being 12th man when it’s hot, lads need rehydrating and we need to concentrate the whole time with guys coming on and off the field,” Ben Stokes concluded.