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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Other SportsIndia v England: Stokes set to bowl in Ranchi

India v England: Stokes set to bowl in Ranchi

Ben Stokes looks set to hand England a major boost by playing as an all-rounder in the fourth Test against India, which starts on Friday.

Stokes has not bowled in this series after undergoing knee surgery in the immediate aftermath of last year’s World Cup but went through a full workout this morning in Ranchi, sending down deliveries at full pelt for almost an hour.

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With a turning pitch expected, it could be captain Stokes acts as England’s second seamer, allowing the tourists to include three frontline spinners.

England vice-captain Ollie Pope told the Guardian: “We know what Stokes is like, he’s got that competitive edge. There’s every chance he’ll bowl, but he’s not confirmed it yet. We will see how he pulls up. 

“If that’s good, hopefully we will see him with the ball in hand in the game.

“When he’s going, it’s pretty tough to get the ball out of his hand to be honest. 

“If he’s got full confidence in his knee I guess you’ve got to trust the medical advice and his opinion as well. If he needs a bit of guidance on the field I can be someone to lean on.”

India have rested star paceman Jasprit Bumrah for this match, primarily to manage his workload, but it does give another indication that the pitch could suit spinners.

Pope added: “The pitch looks interesting, very ‘platey’. There are quite a few cracks at the minute. The cracks in the wicket aren’t just cracks, there are separate bits of ground that could open up with a lot of sun on them. The ball could deviate more off them if they open up like we expect them to.

“If it does spin from ball one I guess it’s an even playing field. It doesn’t define the result, but it does give you an advantage if you win the toss and bat on the slightly flatter wickets.”

England go into the Ranchi Test 2-1 down – losing the last two matches after winning the opener in Hyderabad.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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