Ahead of the pink-ball Test against India starting Wednesday, England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes has brushed aside the pitch debate, claiming Test players should be proficient in handling all kinds of conditions.
“The thing about being a Test batsman is that you need to be able to handle all types of conditions. India is one of the places where it is a lot tougher for overseas batsmen to come and be successful, but then so too is England,” he wrote in his column for the ‘Daily Mirror’.
“And that is part of the game, the challenges and why we love it,” he said.
The spin-friendly tracks in India became a talking point during the ongoing Test series when some former cricketers asked whether such pitches are ideal for the longest format of the game.
The four-match series is currently poised at 1-1 after India’s record triumph in the second Test at Chepauk.
Stokes bowled just two overs in the second Test and questions were raised over his utility, but the all-rounder isn’t reading too much into it.
“Don’t read too much into the fact that I didn’t bowl a huge amount in the second game, I’m sure if it was a green seamer I would have bowled a lot more overs.
“I think there may be more reason for me to bowl under lights in the next game if it will help the team.”
Keeping in mind the ICC World Test Championship final, the last two Tests of the remaining series hold great significance.
While India needs to win at least one more match and draw the other if they are to qualify for the final, England have to win both games.
Just a day ahead of the day-night encounter in Ahmedabad, Stokes wondered how the Motera surface would behave.
“Generally around the world whenever these pink ball games are played there is always a period when the ball starts doing a bit under lights and it brings the seamers right into the game,” he wrote.
“For us out here that will be massive. And at a brand new ground that looks pretty impressive no-one will know just how it will react.
“We’ve got a good spin department, but hopefully with conditions that suit, we’ve certainly got a seam department to back them up strongly.”
Stokes lastly said that the current side is taking inspiration from the English team that won the Test series in India in 2012.
“There aren’t too many teams who come away from India with a series win. The lads from 2012 are rightly proud of their achievement and the rest of us want to join Rooty, Jonny, Jimmy and Broady in achieving it for ourselves, and what a chance we’ve got,” the southpaw added.