Ben Stokes remains unbothered by criticism surrounding Bazball after Rajkot drubbing

Ben Stokes remains unbothered by criticism surrounding Bazball after Rajkot drubbing. India are leading 2-1 in the ongoing five-match series.

Ahead of the fourth Test against India, England captain Ben Stokes stated that he is unconcerned about recent criticism of the team’s ‘Bazball’ approach. Notably, a mammoth loss by 434 runs in Rajkot drew criticism from the Stokes-led side, with many former cricketers pointing out that the players should play according to the situation rather than going out of their way to score runs. The majority of the criticism was directed at former captain Joe Root, who was dismissed while playing a reverse scoop in the third Test.

“No, it’s sport, innit. You get plaudits when it goes well and a bit of s**t when it doesn’t. It’s part of it. I’ve been around long enough to know that, but we crack on,” Stokes was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

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England’s tour of India has been marked by a conscious effort to not complain about pitches

The team recognized that curating surfaces on their own terms was India’s prerogative, and they decided to deal with it. The preparation in Abu Dhabi, on raked, sand-laced strips, was done with this mindset. Despite some DRS gripes, the pitches in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, and Rajkot have rewarded quality cricket, with England winning the first one, while India bouncing back with two back-to-back victories.

However, things are set to take a turn at Ranchi. The JSCA International Stadium greeted the tourists with an odd-looking 22-yard strip. Cracked and with plates that players expect to shift under pressure, it has left the visitors intrigued. Stokes initially failed to describe it but later called it ‘very dark and crumbly’.

“I don’t know, I’ve never seen something like that before so I have got no idea. I don’t know what could happen. If you looked down one side of opposite ends it just looked different to what I am used to seeing, especially out in India. It looked green and grassy up in the changing rooms, but then you go out there, it looked different. Very dark and crumbly and quite a few cracks in it,” Stokes noted.

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