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India v England 2024

Ben Stokes: ‘No complaints whatsoever about any pitches’

Ben Stokes: No complaints about pitches
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Following the end of the Ranchi Test match, England captain Ben Stokes assured that he did not have complaints about the pitches used in any of the four games in the series.

After losing the first Test of the five-match series at Hyderabad, India won the series with consecutive wins in the next three games, at Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, and Ranchi.

The Ranchi surface produced a curious Test match, where the game swung several times – between sides as well as between bat and ball, often over the course of a session.

Opting to bat, England were jolted by debutant seamer Akash Deep in the first morning and were reduced to 112-5 by lunch. They recovered to end the day on 302-7.

The next day, they stretched that total to 353, and reduced India to 177-7, but the hosts recovered to 219-7 by stumps and eventually 307. They then bowled England out for 145 and reached 40-0 by stumps and 84-0 on the fourth morning in pursuit of 192.

However, the England spinners struck on either side of lunch, and India found themselves reeling at 120-5, but they did not lose another wicket in the chase.

At the post-match presentation, England captain Ben Stokes assured that he did not have complaints about the pitch, or any of the pitches. “As I said before the start of the Test, I had no idea what it was going to do,” said Stokes. “Again, I was very surprised how it kept itself together.

“I think the temperatures (through) the day made the wicket behave differently,” he theorised. “I think all four wickets have been really, really good Test match wickets. We’ve seen on many occasions when players and batters get in, it’s very hard to get them out and stop them from scoring.

“But you know that there’s always going to be a period where spin is going to be a massive threat. And that’s the conditions you’re used to in India. So. no complaints whatsoever about any pitches that have been produced. I think they’ve been very good wickets and again, we’ve had four games, four results, so can’t complain.”

Indian captain Rohit Sharma added that if a pitch cannot be termed bad if batters have scored hundreds [Joe Root] and nineties [Dhruv Jurel] or faced 150 balls [Root; Jurel faced 149].

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