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When Stokes is Firing, it Puts Oppositions Under Huge Pressure: Root

Cricketnext Staff |February 13, 2019, 9:11 AM IST
When Stokes is Firing, it Puts Oppositions Under Huge Pressure: Root

As England registered a comprehensive victory over Windies in the third Test at St Lucia to gain a consolation win, captain Joe Root hailed the form of Ben Stokes and said it was good to see the all-rounder back amongst runs.

Stokes’ score of 79 in the first innings was crucial to England reaching a total of 277, while his unbeaten 48 off 75 balls in the second innings saw him contribute to a 107 run partnership for the fifth wicket with Root.

"It is great to see him (Stokes) come and play in the manner he did in this match. When he is firing and playing in that manner it puts the opposition under huge pressure and he definitely gets the best out of himself,” Root told Sky Sports.

"I think Ben has approached this game with more of what he is about.

"He will openly admit in the last year-and-a-half he has found things a little bit difficult, he went too far the other way when wickets have been challenging.

After day one of the third Test, Stokes had spoken about how watching old videos of himself batting at Lord’s reignited his attacking instinct, eventually helping him put in good performances in the third Test.

Root also observed how Mark Wood could potentially be the ideal third change bowler for England, after he picked up career-best bowling figures of 5-41 and hit speeds in the high 80s and 90s through his spells.

"He bowled beautifully in the first innings. I have never been stood that far back on a cricket field,” Root added.

"It is great to have that option and balance in your attack, complimenting James Anderson and Stuart Broad especially on surfaces like this where the ball does go up and down."

Meanwhile, England coach Trevor Bayliss said that he believes Keaton Jennings can still prove himself in the Test format, and that England top three batsmen need to get runs on a more consistent basis.

"I think the top three have all shown what they are capable of doing at this level," he said. "The challenge now is to do it more regularly.

"Going into the Ashes, the early season county matches will play a big part for those few players at the top.

"They are the incumbents for those places and if they come out and score big runs in county cricket that will go a long way to them being selected."

Despite the victory in the third Test, England lost the series against a young Windies side 2-1, having been resoundingly beaten in Barbados and Antigua.

Bayliss rejected the notion that his team lost the series due to lack of practice and preparation for the tour.

"The wickets caught us on the hop a little bit but even if we had played a four-day game the (warm-up) pitch was nothing like the one we played the three Tests on," he explained.

"With only four days (preparation) we have felt over the last few tours the best way to get everyone some time out in the middle, batting and bowling, was two two-day games. We did that in Sri Lanka (where they won the Test series 3-0) and it didn't affect us at all."

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