‘Taking a Bit of Knowledge From the Last Test we Played Here’: Ben Stokes Aims to Recreate 2016 Heroics in Rajkot


Ben Stokes had scored a century in the 2016 Test against India at Rajkot. (Image: AFP)

Ben Stokes had scored a century in the 2016 Test against India at Rajkot. (Image: AFP)

Ben Stokes had scored a century in the 2016 Test against India at Rajkot. The England skipper will be looking to recreate his heroics as his side will look to take the series lead once again.

England captain, Ben Stokes will be eyeing up yet another win as his side will look to take the series lead. The sides are currently in Rajkot where the skipper might be looking to recreate his knock against India which came in eight years ago.

Speaking at the press conference ahead of the third Test, the skipper gave his thoughts on the conditions at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. “Taking a bit of knowledge from the last Test we played here a long time ago. It was a pretty flat wicket and looking at it today I think it looks good,” he said.

Speaking on the current conditions at Rajkot he added,” You look down and there’s a few cracks that meet up. Only time will tell if they will come into it. I don’t want to have too many preconceived ideas about pitches, but you do have to have some sort of idea which informs the XI you pick.”

READ MORE: ‘…Will Allow us to Use Him Differently’: Ben Stokes on Mark Wood’s Inclusion for 3rd Test at Rajkot 

However, the most interesting point was the fact that his side will look to make use of the experience some of the players have of playing at Rajkot. He added,” Taking a bit of knowledge from the last Test we played here a long time ago. It was a pretty flat wicket and looking at it today I think it looks good.”

To add some context, the only time England played in Rajkot was back in 2016. At the time Alastair Cook had led the English side and the match went on to be drawn. A young 25-year-old Ben Stokes had managed to bring up his fourth Test century, while Joe Root and Moeen Ali also brought up their respective tons to help England post a mammoth score of 537 runs.

For India, it was the pair of Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara who scored 126 and 124 respectively along with a 70 from Ravichandran Ashwin to put India at 488. England walked into the second innings with a 49-run lead, thanks to a four-fer from Adil Rashid.

READ MORE: On ‘Flat’ Rajkot Pitch, India Expect Spin to Come Into the Picture at Some Point While England Alter Plans 

In the second innings, the England skipper Alastair Cook led from the front scoring 130 while his opening partner Haseem Hameed scored 82 as England eventually declared after setting a target of 309 runs.

Despite Adil Rashid being able to take some wickets, there was not enough time for a result as the match was drawn. One point to note is that the spinners have been able to make a significant impact in the match. Across both teams, spinners had gone on to pick up 22 wickets in the Test. Another point to note is that the batters have been able to go on and make big scores as well.

If this is any indication as to how the match is going to go, then the upcoming Test could prove to be a batter’s paradise with flat wickets not giving the bowlers much to work with. However, the spinners could have a big role to play in determining the outcome of the match.



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