England’s marquee all-rounder Ben Stokes has been brought to the firing line after comments made on his autobiography, regarding Indian batsmen not displaying enough intent to chase down the total set by the hosts, in the group stage encounter of the 2019 ODI World Cup.
During the match, the Indian bowlers received a pounding from the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy and Stokes himself, as the Three Lions set a stiff target of 338 runs.
However, India looked well on course to chase down the total with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli at the crease.
Stokes tagged the approach displayed by Rohit and Virat ‘mystifying’ and ‘bizarre’. Following their dismissal, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya chipped in with useful cameos to keep the asking rate in check.
Moreover, finishers MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav were left with much to do, with 112 required in the final 11 overs.
Stokes claimed that Indian talisman did not show any intent to attack, instead, he settled for taking singles with wickets in hand.
To which, one of the former Pakistan cricketer Sikander Bhakt blamed India for deliberately losing the match, in order to eliminate Pakistan from the competition.
“India will never want Pakistan to reach the semi-finals. They have matches remaining against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Everybody saw how India won against Afghanistan. They (India) will play in such a way that nobody will know what has happened. What happened against Afghanistan?” said Bhakt earlier.
Ben Stokes writes in his book that India lost to England deliberately to remove Pakistan from world Cup 19 and we predicted it Pakistan India relationship @TheRealPCB @TheRealPCBMedia pic.twitter.com/ioqFSHeeg1
— Sikander Bakht (@Sikanderbakhts) May 28, 2020
Had India won the match, the hosts would not have progressed through to the semi-finals and eventually win the title.
Although, with England beating India, the chances of Pakistan progressing to the knockouts was second to none.
Pakistan media copped on the comments made by Stokes in his autobiography due to be published, relating the two exclusive events. Now, Stokes has clarified his stand, tagging it as ‘twisting of words’ and ‘clickbait’.
You won’t find it cause I have never said it… it’s called “twisting of words” or “click bait” 🤷♂️ https://t.co/uIUYXVaxLB
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) May 28, 2020