England has had a disappointing Test match so far but if there is one positive that they will take from this, then it will be the manner in which Ben Foakes has gone about his business as a batsman but more so as a stumper.
On a track where the ball is spitting and turning like a vicious cobra, Ben Foakes has been absolutely imperious behind the stumps. And, on the third morning, the birthday boy turned heads with his MS Dhoni-esque stumpings.
Foakes affected two brilliant stumpings on the third morning. The first instance came against Rohit Sharma, who was beaten on the outside edge by Jack Leach, who got a sharp dip and turn on the 3rd-day track. Ben Foakes collected the ball in a jiffy and before Rohit could move his back foot in the crease, the English wicketkeeper with his whiplash hands had already dislodged the stumps.
Foakes wasn’t done yet. The next instance of him showcasing MS Dhoni-esque stumping skills came at the expense of Rishabh Pant.
Pant has consistently danced down the track against Jack Leach thus far in the series but this time, the left-arm orthodox got the better of the southpaw.
The 23-year-old danced down the track but this time he was beaten by the turn and Ben Foakes did the rest as he collected the ball and dislodged the bails at the speed of knots.
Ben Foakes has now become the first English stumper to affect as many as three stumpings in a Test since Alan Knott, who did the same against Australia at Leeds in 1989 and the first keeper from England in a Test in the sub-continent.
Needless to say, Twitter was full of praise for the English wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
Here are some of the reactions to Ben Foakes wicketkeeping masterclass:
Ben Foakes reminds me of a certain wicket keeper batter from England who made us all believe ‘wicket keeping’ is a superpower. 💥@Sarah_Taylor30
— Shikha Pandey (@shikhashauny) February 15, 2021
This is an absolute master class from Ben Foakes behind the stumps 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 #INDvsENG
— Matt Prior (@MattPrior13) February 15, 2021
— CricBlog ✍ (@cric_blog) February 15, 2021
Seriously how good have Pant and Foakes been in this game…Outstanding !!!
— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) February 14, 2021
Ben Foakes is the first England wicketkeeper to make three stumpings in a Test:
a) since Alan Knott, v Aus, Headingley 1968;
b) in a Test in Asia, ever;
c) away from home since Godfrey Evans in Cape Town in Jan 1949.https://t.co/pb5AJGYWRV#INDvENG
— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) February 15, 2021
Stumpings in Test Cricket
Ben Foakes (6 Tests)
Made – 5
Missed – 1
Jos Buttler (50 Tests)
Made – 1
Missed – 5#INDvENG
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) February 15, 2021
Ben Foakes has been one of the best overseas keepers in Indian conditions. His right leg opens up when collecting from a left-arm spinner. Off-spinner bowls and his left leg goes slightly back @englandcricket #cricket #IndvEng (1/2)
— Kiran More (@JockMore) February 15, 2021
Feb 15, 1993: India beat England at Chepauk in the 2nd Test
On that day Ben Foakes was born
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) February 15, 2021
— DK (@DineshKarthik) February 15, 2021
Really impressed with wicket keeping skills of Ben Foakes. To concede 0 byes in the first innings in challenging conditions is superb. Soft hands, clean collection, fast to dislodge stumps. Not seen many overseas keepers keep so well here for long time. #INDvsENG pic.twitter.com/yT5HyNtV8l
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) February 15, 2021