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Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'I told ya, I'd make a bowler out of ya'

'I told ya, I'd make a bowler out of ya'

Source: PTI
Last updated on: February 01, 2024 17:10 IST
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'To also have the benefit of Joe's bowling out here is obviously massive. I'm surprised he's not actually mentioned he's nipped above me, but I think we're just two people who don't really care about stuff like that.'

Joe Root finished with five wickets in the first Test against India in Hyderabad 

IMAGE: Joe Root finished with five wickets in the first Test against India in Hyderabad. Photograph: BCCI

Ben Stokes had promised Joe Root to make a bowler out of him and the maverick England skipper is glad that he has succeeded in his mission, evidence of which were the five wickets the top batter picked in a famous win.

 

England's best batter Root was also their best bowler in the first innings of the Hyderabad Test against India and ended with five wickets in the game.

He picked up the key wicket of K L Rahul in the second innings, following his four wickets in the first, to play a major part in England's sensational comeback win.

Root got the ball to turn at good pace and his straighter one also troubled the Indian batters. With Jack Leach out of second Test, Root will be expected to shoulder more responsibility in an experienced spin department. He bowled a total of 48 overs in the series opener.

"I did always say to Joe I thought he under-bowled himself as captain, and when he walked off with a four-fer I did say to him, 'see, I told ya I'd make a bowler out of ya'.

"Having someone like that out here who is not only someone to throw the ball to and change the pace of the game up -- he's bowled me lots of overs, Joe has -- then having him batting at four and the runs he's scored and how important he is to us.

"To also have the benefit of Joe's bowling out here is obviously massive. I'm surprised he's not actually mentioned he's nipped above me, but I think we're just two people who don't really care about stuff like that," said Stokes on the eve of the second Test.

England have brought in the evergreen James Anderson in place of Mark Wood while bringing in uncapped Shoaib Bashir for the injured Leach. Bashir arrived late in India because of visa issues and was not available for selection for the opening Test.

Anderson's return on the other hand would allow England to do what Jasprit Bumrah did for India with the old ball -- reverse swing. Stokes said Anderson contributes to the team even when he is not playing, like it was the case in Hyderabad.

"Bringing Jimmy's experience, the class that he has, is great and I think it also goes under the radar how good his record in India is.

"Considering what Jimmy is going for -- 'the swing king' and all that -- it just proves how good a bowler he is. He has different skillsets that I will be able to exploit in Indian conditions.

"It's not just picking Jimmy for the new ball, it's the other stuff he possesses as well. It's great that Jimmy is doing good things for the old boys out there. It's huge credit and lots of people should look up to Jimmy considering he is where he is at 41."

Anderson has taken 34 wickets in 13 Tests in India, averaging 29.32.

The Hyderabad pitch offered turn from day one but Stokes reckoned the Vizag surface might be better for batting at least in the initial phase of the game.

"It might be a good wicket for maybe a day or two. But out here in India and other parts of the sub-continent, you tend to see it start to spin more and more as the Test goes deeper and deeper.

Even though it does look like there's a little bit more moisture in there with the heat - and today is very hot again - any footholes and stuff like that might come into play the further the Test goes.

"It might play a little bit better initially than it did last week, but we don't like to go in with too many pre-conceived ideas, we like to have some kind of idea because obviously that's how we pick the team. Then we just play what's in front of us," he said.

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