Ian Chappell blasts Ben Stokes as ‘intriguing captaincy battle’ ends with Rohit Sharma’s India conquering Bazball

Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has given his opinion on Ben Stokes and his England team after their latest series defeat against India. The series hampered them in the WTC points table as well and they are placed eighth on the table with a PCT of 17.50.

Ben Stokes and his current England team popularised the “Bazball” culture by winning the first 10 out of 11 Test series. However, in recent times, they drew 1-1 to New Zealand and 2-2 to Australia before they lost 4-1 to India away from home.

England started off brilliantly by winning the first Test in Hyderabad. However, in the last four Test matches, their batting lineup capitulated badly with the second, third, and fourth Test matches finishing inside four days. The fifth Test in Dharamsala ended inside three days due to England’s batting collapse in two innings.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes Ben Stokes’ aggressive style of captaincy faltered at a crucial time throughout the Test series. In his column for ESPNcricinfo he wrote:

“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.

“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.”

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Ian Chappel Slams Ben Stokes For His Captaincy In Ranchi Test

The former Australian skipper also felt that England gave away easy singles due to the unbroken 72-run stand between Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel in Ranchi that allowed India to win the Test match.

“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,” wrote Chappell in his column for ESPNCricinfo.

He further spoke about how Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal took advantage of England’s tentative field placements during their partnership of 84 runs in Ranchi.

“Rohit proceeded to take full advantage of the tentative field placings with a thoughtful innings and India’s solid opening partnership helped seal victory. The second innings should have been a time to force the Indian batters into taking a risk, but by allowing easy singles, Stokes gave his opponents the upper hand” Chappell added further.

He concluded by speaking about how Stokes could have used James Anderson in a better way in the Ranchi Test instead of giving the ball to Root which allowed run-scoring easy for the Indian players.

“He also needed to use the experience and guile of Anderson to try and force the issue on the third evening but instead relied on the part-time spin of Root. The use of Root could probably be put down to an over-reliance on the right-left combination to get the wicket of India’s accomplished opener Yashasvi Jaiswal. There are times when good captaincy hinges on gut feel rather than statistics or theories; this was such an occasion,” he concluded.

Engalnd have played 10 matches in the WTC 2023-25 cycle so far winning just three matches and losing as many as six in the meantime.

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