The flag-bearer of the New-England England Test team, he is set to change the way he perceives the game’s long format, captain Ben Stokes has vowed to maintain the same mentality when facing a high-quality Indian team. Birmingham Test starting July 1st. After a 157-run win at the Oval, India are currently leading 2-1 in the five-match series but are now set to face a revived England side. – Ally Pope, Joe Root, Bierstowe and James Anderson – later this week. This Test match will be considered the ‘fifth Test’ of the series, which was previously postponed due to Kovid-19 issues.
Stokes told reporters after England won the third Test against New Zealand 3-0, “Whatever the opposition, we are still going to have the same mindset.”
Dynamic all-rounder, who is on a mental health break from cricket during the Fourth Test against India, added: “Obviously, it’s completely different … different opposition, with their attack and with the players.
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“We look forward to doing what we have done well in these last three games and look forward to doing it against India on Friday.”
Before the New Zealand series, England had only won 17 Tests, although most of those matches were played under psychological draining coronavirus restrictions that no longer apply.
But the shackles have been removed for a pleasant start to life under McCullum, one of the most aggressive players of his generation.
“I knew that everyone would buy a new mentality that me and Brendan would leave, but to be honest I didn’t think it would go well,” said Dear Spirit Stokes.
In just a week’s time, Bierstowe scored two remarkable Test centuries, including a stunning 162 from 136 at Trent Bridge in his run chase that saved England 55-6 in the first innings at Headingley.
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The most magnificent blow came Monday by Bierstowe, who scored England’s second-fastest Test half-century in just 30 balls at an unbeaten 71.
Former England captain Joe Root played the second violin with his Yorkshire team-mate when he shared an unbroken stand of 111.
Root was named England’s Test Player of the Year after scoring 396 runs at 99, which topped the Test batting rankings in his form.
McCallum, however, had a more immediate influence on Bierstowe.
“I’ve never heard of Bloch, who scored 130-odd balls in 90 balls as he did at Trent Bridge, and then asked his head coach how to go out and play,” Stokes said.
“Baz McCullum basically said, ‘Go and take your sudoku book, sit beside me. What you did last week, go out and do it again.’
“Along with Johnny, it’s about making sure he knows what to do with the team.”
New Zealand arrived in England with questions about how their effective replacements – Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell – would replace retiring Ross Taylor and BJ Watling to share four-century partnerships.
But the last two matches of the series have been costly, leaving former spinner Ajaz Patel, who became the third bowler to take all the 10 wickets in Test history, against India in his hometown of Mumbai in December. – Brake bowler Michael Bracewell hit 109 for 15.2 overs in England’s chase at Headingley.
“We have chosen the balance of the team to go with three seamers,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said. “We’re curious if this will turn out but it’s just a matter of time.”
(With agency inputs)