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Michael Atherton opens up on England skipper Ben Stokes’ run-out in 2nd Test
By SMCS - Feb 6, 2024 3:30 pm
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Former England cricketer Michael Atherton added that Ben Stokes wasn’t aware of how tight the single which cost him his wicket on Day 4 due to a run-out. The England captain was found short of his ground towards the end of the second Test against India in Visakhapatnam on Monday. With 179 more runs to win and just four wickets in hand, India needed to restrict them and the southpaw was run out by a stunning direct hit from Shreyas Iyer.

Shreyas Iyer

In his report for The Times after the conclusion of the second Test, Michael Atherton added: “Stokes was uncharacteristically casual in his running having been called for a single to mid-wicket by Ben Foakes, and in a game replete with acts of individual brilliance in the field, Shreyas Iyer swooped and threw down the stumps with Stokes just short of his ground.”

However, Michael Atherton was impressed with the way England opener Zak Crawley batted in both innings of the Visakhapatnam Test as well. With scores of 76 & 73, Crawley tasted success against the Indian bowling and he looked the most comfortable among others as well.

Atherton stated: “The reaction to Crawley’s dismissal from India’s fielders was ecstatic, and revealed not just relief for a key wicket at a vital time, but also Crawley’s new-found stature. With 149 runs across both innings, Crawley batted beautifully and is, arguably, England’s most improved player over the past 12 months.”

Joe Root
Joe Root threw his wicket away

However, Michael Atherton was disappointed with how star England batter Joe Root got dismissed on Day 4 of the second Test between India and England in Visakhapatnam on Monday.

“Joe Root, in particular, has yet to get going in the series. His brilliance is not in question and he remains England’s best player in all conditions and especially in India — he passed 1,000 Tests runs in the country in his second innings — but with 52 runs in four innings, he has yet to find his stride. He now has a nine-day break to reflect on matters. It was an ugly un-Root-like shot to end his innings,” Michael Atherton concluded. “Whereas England won the first Test in 2021 before folding meekly, this does not feel as though it will necessarily be a repeat. India have shown some frailties of their own in batting and have been put under enough pressure in the field to suggest that if England’s key batsmen find their best form, all is not lost.”