Ben Stokes: Ben Stokes raises eyebrows with assessment of Ranchi pitch | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: England captain Ben Stokes injected intrigue into discussions surrounding the Ranchi pitch ahead of the fourth Test against India, expressing astonishment at the unique characteristics of the playing surface.
With India leading the five-match series 2-1, anticipation for the penultimate Test heightened, yet much of the pre-match chatter has revolved around the nature of the pitch, particularly the “platey cracks” described by England batter Ollie Pope.

Stokes added further intrigue with his assessment, stating, “It looked interesting, didn’t it? I don’t know. I can’t say much. I’ve never seen something like that before so I have no idea. I don’t know what could happen.”

His remarks painted an ominous picture, especially from the perspective of the England camp, as uncertainty loomed over the potential impact of the unconventional pitch on the game.

Explaining his observations, Stokes was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo, “If you looked down one side of opposite ends it just looked different to what I am used to seeing, especially out in India.”
He highlighted the stark contrast between the appearance of the pitch from the changing rooms versus its actual condition on the field, noting its dark, crumbly texture and numerous cracks.

The enigmatic nature of the pitch also contributed to England’s dilemma in finalizing their playing XI, with pacer Ollie Robinson set to replace Mark Wood, but decisions regarding additional spin options or an extra batter remained undecided.
Stokes praised Robinson’s versatility and adaptability, emphasizing the bowler’s skill set and his ability to generate movement regardless of the playing conditions.
As speculation mounted regarding Stokes’s potential return to bowling, the Durham all-rounder remained coy about his prospects, indicating positive signs regarding his knee but opting to adopt a wait-and-see approach.

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(With inputs from PTI)

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