What we saw over the past couple of years with England Test Cricket, as true cricket fans who saw this team shine to World cup victory in 2019, we only feel disappointed. England has toured five countries in the last year, and they have been hammered by all of them. The last time they won a test match was against New Zealand, but they are still on a losing skid. They were defunct in Ashes by Australia. Their defeat in the last series against the West Indies continued an inexorable downward spiral. In their last 17 Tests, they’ve won one and lost 11. It’s been a dreadful year for a team that had been steadily improving prior to last year’s India trip. Their performances, however, have decreased since then. England needed major personal and organizational changes to turn things around. Here in this article, we have talked about England’s Ben Stokes: Is He the Hero England Needs?
And finally, they did it, Joe Root stepped down from captaincy last month and they have now found their new captain in Ben Stokes. He is not a new name, he is one of the wildly known English cricketers in recent times who is known for all good things. He is the hero of England’s 2019 World Cup victory. He is a man who has given life to test cricket again around the world with a few of his contemporaries. He plays with passion, doesn’t mind going all out, and is ready to give up a big sum (read IPL) to prepare for the next test series. Time and again he has proven his worth and his absence is when England suffered the most. He is the balance that England cricket needs to continue being counted as among the top cricket-playing nations.
Ben Stokes in March 2022 attained a new feat. He became 5th player in the world to score 5000 runs and take 150 wickets in Test cricket. He joined the elite list of Sir Gary Sobers and legendary Kapil Dev, the complete cricketer Jacques Kallis, and Sir Ian Botham. Ben has been a great promotor of test cricket since he started playing and we see that passion on the field. He never shies away from bowling long spells, he gives his 100 percent while fielding and bats with responsibility. It is still difficult for us to forget the Headingley where we saw one of the greatest performances by a player in test cricket. There is so much to the man apart from his masterclass. He is a strong personality who advocates mental health and it is this quality that ensures he will keep the team happy or understand the situation better.
There has been something amiss with England’s selection of their current squad. There are serious structural issues that need to be addressed. Rearranging the few available players is unlikely to yield long-term results. A diverse set-up with talented individuals could provide some benefits. Quality openers are urgently needed, and there is no doubt that the group requires more toughness and a new approach to the game. England has been a conventional team that shies away from going for the win and rather play it safe. Ben Stokes looks like the only player who has dismissed this idea in the past openly with how he approaches the game. He now has to bring this as a culture change to the team. As a captain, he should ensure that he is not just leading by example, but also putting the duty on his colleagues, as cricket is a team sport.
England will next host Newzealand in their home for a 3 match test series and they should look fresh as they have seen many changes in the past few months with a changed head coach and captain. With the changes, we hope to see a team that plays fearless cricket and goes for a win. Good luck to the new captain, we hope he continues to entertain us the way he does and keep promoting Test cricket the way he does!