Former Australian player Ian Chappell believes England will give the host a stern test under the captaincy of Ben Stokes in the rest of the three Tests of the five-match series as well. Before this series, England had done well under Ben Stokes and registered a great turnaround to their red-ball fortunes as well, winning 13 of their 18 Tests and also won one Test already.
In his column for ESPN Cricinfo, Chappell wrote: “As the home side India should eventually win a tough series, but it has a real battle on their hands. England under the aggressive leadership of Stokes are a far cry from the poorly captained Joe Root team that capitulated against spin on their last tour of the country. This India versus England contest is shaping up as it should: a tough five-match encounter between two talented sides.”
While England won the first Test in the 2021 Indian tour under the leadership of Joe Root, they faced losses in the next three matches to suffer a 1-3 series defeat. Both India and England will play in the third Test at Rajkot, starting Thursday, February 15 as well. However, Ian Chappell further applauded skipper Ben Stokes for changing the players’ mindset to play aggressively as well.
“Much of England’s success has been attributed to Bazball – the desire to score quickly and tactically rattle the opposition – but this is a misnomer. What Stokes has really done is set out to achieve victory from ball one by playing aggressive cricket in all aspects of the game. Stokes has been extremely smart to adopt such an approach and his aggressive tactics have brought England great success in the win column,” wrote Chappell.
“It’s an approach that England were extremely slow to adopt but Stokes has shown himself to be a strong-minded and smart leader. The England team has great belief in Stokes and it shows both on and off the field. The team takes wickets because they are continually looking for them, and this challenge is accepted by the bowlers. The team also believes that Stokes’ aggression will help them claim the odd unexpected success,” Ian Chappell concluded.