‘Aggressive Leadership Faltered’: Australia Great’s Scathing Verdict On Ben Stokes

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    England cricket team skipper Ben Stokes© AFP

    Legendary Australia cricketer Ian Chappell launched a scathing attack on Ben Stokes‘ captaincy after England were beaten 4-1 in the recently concluded five-match Test series against India. England won the first Test match in Hyderabad but ended up losing the next four matches. Chappell cited the example of the fourth Test match in Ranchi and said that Stokes’ aggressive captaincy faltered in that situation resulting in India clinched the match rather easily and taking an unassailable lead.

    Rohit Sharma and Ben Stokes have waged an intriguing captaincy battle in their Test series. However Stokes’ aggressive leadership faltered at a crucial time and India – well led by Rohit – claimed the series with a resounding victory in the fourth Test in Ranchi,” wrote Chappell in his column for ESPNCricinfo.

    “On the third evening Stokes desperately needed to start India’s chase with his best two bowlers and try to claim at least one wicket. Incredibly, he gave the ball to a part-timer, Joe Root, and ignored the experienced, probing bowling of Jimmy Anderson. India took full advantage and scored an invaluable 40 runs off just eight overs.”

    “Stokes missed a trick in Ranchi. He then compounded his error by allowing too many easy singles on the final day by resorting to some cautious field placings. At a time when Stokes needed to be extremely brave as captain and hope he got lucky, he was abnormally conservative,” he added.

    Chappell explained that Stokes was not up to the mark in his captaincy during a demanding chase and asked him to take inspiration from Pakistan legend Javed Miandad.

    “India probably would still have won but at least by going on the attack, Stokes would have given England their best chance of an upset victory. Stokes could improve his captaincy in demanding chases if he took the example of the leadership master in those situations – Pakistan’s Javed Miandad.”

    “Rohit proceeded to take full advantage of the tentative field placings with a thoughtful innings and India’s solid opening partnership helped seal victory,” Chappell concluded.

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