England skipper Ben Stokes has made a name for himself by doing exceptionally well against the fast bowlers. However, in the ongoing series against India, the 32-year-old has struggled against pace icon Jasprit Bumrah, who got the better of him on two occasions in same number of matches. Before their recent encounter, Stokes always had the upper hand against Bumrah, as the Ahmedabad-born pacer had no success against him in six appearances.
Things have changed in recent times as Bumrah has picked up 15 wickets in two Tests against England so far and is currently the number-one ranked Test bowler in the world. He would be gunning to keep up with the form and help India be the first team to win a series against Stokes’ England. Meanwhile, former cricketer Michael Atherton analysed Stokes’s situation and explained the reason behind his struggle against the Indian pacer.
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Atherton believes that Stokes has been hurried against Bumrah and has had trouble picking up his pace. He reminded that Stokes is an excellent player of pace so he expects the southpaw to come back strongly .
“Picking with the speed of the ball is tough with him, and I’ve noticed with Stokes, even Stokes actually is an excellent player of fast bowling. He’s hurried with Bumrah. He struggles to pick up the pace, and a couple of times when he’s got him, it looks as though the ball has kept low, which has but it also almost beaten him for pace as well. I think that’s the issue with Bumrah,” Atherton told Sky Cricket.
Meanwhile, the series is currently locked level at 1-1. After losing the second Test in Visakhapatnam, England have travelled to Abu Dhabi to stay away from the ‘heat of the battle’. Head coach Brendon McCullum confirmed that the team won’t be practicing in the United Arab Emirates but might have a few gym sessions and fielding drills to keep themselves active. They are expected to reach Rajkot a couple of days prior to the third Test, slated to begin from February 15.
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