“I Couldn’t Turn Down”: Ben Stokes On Leading England In Tests

England cricket team skipper Ben Stokes© AFP

England Test skipper Ben Stokes opened up about leading the side in Tests and said that it was an opportunity that he couldn’t turn down. After registering a 28-run victory against India in the first Test on the back of Ollie Pope’s 196 and a seven-wicket haul from debutant Tom Hartley, England will look to lead the series 2-0 when they take on hosts in the second match on Friday at Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. In the opening match, the southpaw played a knock of 70 runs in the first innings. The all-rounder asserted that he never aspired to lead the England side in the longest format of the game. He said that this is a role he has enjoyed.

“It’s something I never had any aspirations to do or really thought about too much, to be honest. I never really had too much responsibility around captaining or anything, either in age-group cricket or any other level. I had a little taste of it with the Durham Academy. This opportunity presented itself to me and it was something I couldn’t turn down. It’s a role I’ve grown into, it’s a role that I’ve really enjoyed,” Stokes told JioCinema.

“I love everything that comes with it, the responsibility of looking after people from different types of angles. Whether it be out in the field or away from the field. Understanding different individuals and personalities, because in a team sport, you’ve got a lot of people and not everyone is the same. That’s helped me mature as a person. Just really enjoying the responsibility of driving something forward,” the left-hand batter added.

He also talked about the ‘Bazball’ approach which the team has adopted after the arrival of former New Zealand skipper, Brendon McCullum as the head coach of the national team in Tests. He said that the phrase ‘Bazball’ is created by the media.

“It’s a phrase that was created by the media. Something that we try and stay away from. It just came from what we have managed to do over the last two years and how we’ve played. We don’t necessarily like it, Baz hates it! Whenever that word pops up, we just try to say that’s how England plays Test cricket,” Stokes concluded.

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