England allrounder Ben Stokes’s comments in his book about India’s batting approach against England in 2019 World Cup have created an online storm. Ben Stokes expressed his surprise over the way India went about the chase in the high-scoring game.
A loss for England would have seen them exit the competition at the group stage while India had already sealed their spot in the semifinal. A win for India would have brightened Pakistan’s chances of progressing ahead. However, the Men in Blue lost the high-scoring encounter by 31 runs while chasing 337 at Edgbaston.
Almost a year after that game, Ben Stokes has said that he was baffled by India’s run-chasing strategy. The star allrounder stated that he found Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s approach “mystifying” and saw “no intent” from MS Dhoni during the run chase. In fact, Ben Stokes called skipper Virat Kohli’s complaints about the “59 metre” boundary on one side “whingeing”.
In his new book ‘On Fire’, the England aceanalysed each of England’s games in the World Cup.
“Arguably, the way MS Dhoni played when he came in with 112 runs needed from 11 overs was even stranger. He appeared more intent on singles than sixes. Even with a dozen balls remaining, India could still have won.
“…there was little or no intent from him (Dhoni) or his partner Kedar Jadhav. To me, while victory is still possible you always go for broke.
“The way Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli played was mystifying. I know that we bowled brilliantly well during this period, but the way they went about their batting just seemed bizarre.
“They allowed their team to get so far behind the game. They showed no desire to put any pressure back onto our team, content instead to just drift along, a tactic that was clearly playing into our hands,” Ben Stokes wrote.
Ben Stokes hits back:
Following the comments, there has been a big controversy online with a number of Pakistan fans claiming that India deliberately lost the game to make sure Pakistan do not progress ahead. Not only the fans but former Pakistan bowler Sikander Bakht also claimed the same. However, Ben Stokes has categorically denied these allegations.
When a Twitter user asked where to find the player’ comments regarding the same, the player himself responded by writing: “You won’t find it cause I have never said it… it’s called “twisting of words” or “click bait”.
You won’t find it cause I have never said it… it’s called “twisting of words” or “click bait” ?♂️ https://t.co/uIUYXVaxLB
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) May 28, 2020
Earlier Bakht had tweeted an old video of himself claiming India knowingly lost to England while reasserting that his prediction was vindicated by Stokes’s book.
Ben Stokes writes in his book that India lost to England deliberately to remove Pakistan from world Cup 19 and we predicted it Pakistan India relationship @TheRealPCB @TheRealPCBMedia pic.twitter.com/ioqFSHeeg1
— Sikander Bakht (@Sikanderbakhts) May 28, 2020