Updated February 22nd, 2024 at 18:18 IST

'The pitch could be as flat as a pancake': Ben Stokes fires salvo against India ahead of 4th Test

England captain Ben Stokes spoke to the press, where he touched upon various subjects, including the much-hyped pitch of the Ranchi Test.

Ben Stokes | Image:BCCI
Advertisement

India and England are all set to lock horns against each other in the 4th Test of their five-match series, starting Friday, February 23 in Ranchi. Ahead of the crucial encounter, England captain Ben Stokes spoke to the press, where he touched upon various subjects, including the much-hyped pitch of the Ranchi Test. 

Ben Stokes fires salvo against India

The England team announced their playing XI for the 4th Test on Thursday, a day before the commencement of the game. England have rested Mark Wood and Rehan Ahmed and have brought in Ollie Robinson and Shoaib Bashir into the starting XI. Apart from talking about the team combination, Ben Stokes also shed some light on what he thinks about the pitch. 

“We get asked about the pitch and we give our opinion, but that doesn't mean we are going in with too many preconceived ideas. The pitch could be as flat as a pancake, who knows,” Ben Stokes said at the pre-match press conference on Thursday.

Advertisement

"If it is, we will adapt to that. If it does more than we think it will, we will adapt to that as well. We won't let those conversations seep into what we do." 

Ben Stokes also opened up on the legendary James Anderson, who is just seven wickets away from becoming the first pacer in the world to reach 700 Test wickets. In the series, the 41-year-old has bowled 73 overs across two matches and has secured six wickets.

Advertisement

“If you're a young fast bowler, Jimmy Anderson is the one person who you want as your role model. Not only the amount of wickets he's got but the fact that he can keep going at his age,” Stokes said.

“Especially over the last two years, he's also introduced new ways of operating. We've seen him commit to bowling bouncers, we've seen him bowl around the wickets to right handers, use the skills when the conditions need that.”

Advertisement

"Even saying approaching 700 wickets as a fast bowler is incredible but I don't think that'll be at the top of his mind this week just because of where we are in the series," Stokes concluded. 

England's Playing XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes, Tom Hartley, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson, Shoaib Bashir

Advertisement

(With PTI inputs)
 

Advertisement

Published February 22nd, 2024 at 16:51 IST