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“He made a big error” – Sir Geoffrey Boycott On Ben Stokes opening with 2 spinners in 4th innings
By SMCS - Feb 27, 2024 9:20 am
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Former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott raised questions on Ben Stokes’ move to open with two spinners in the fourth innings in Ranchi when they had a mere 192 to defend. Boycott said that it was a ‘big error’ and suggested that Joe Root and Tom Hartley are not experienced enough to bowl with the new ball as well. While the pair tried their best, they failed to strike early as Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal added 40 runs from 8 overs on day 3.

ben stokes
Ben Stokes

In his column for The Telegraph, Boycott wrote, “England only had 192 to defend. I like Stokes’s captaincy but I thought he made a big error by opening the bowling with two spinners, Root and Tom Hartley. The problem is that unless you are experienced at bowling spin with a new ball then the lacquer makes it slip out of the fingers so it is difficult to drop it on a length. When I played, spinners could rub the ball in the dirt to rough it up and grip it better but that is banned now so it is hard for them to control. I think Stokes out-thought himself.”

However, the veteran also felt the young spinners did a great job, and it was the batters that failed them to do well. However, Hartley and Bashir have stepped up for England on the tour. The former took seven wickets in the fourth innings in Hyderabad whereas Bashir scalped 8 wickets in Ranchi, including a fifer in the first innings as well.

England team
England team

“The young spinners had done pretty well but they were never going to out bowl India. Ours are not to blame. It is the batsmen. This was a match of mistakes and missed opportunities. England should be kicking themselves for losing. Winning the toss and batting first on a dry cracked result pitch and then making a total of 353 should have been a winner. Jimmy Anderson is there for the new ball. He dismissed Rohit Sharma in the first innings. One thing about Anderson is that he doesn’t give any runs away. He is a mean bowler. He should have opened the bowling but really the game and series was lost by the batsmen,” Sir Geoffrey Boycott concluded.