‘This is reckless batting’ – Kevin Pietersen not amused with Ben Stokes’ ‘ultra-aggressive’ approach
'This is reckless batting, this is not defending your wicket,' said Pietersen.
Updated - Jul 4, 2022 6:37 pm
Kevin Pietersen slammed English Test skipper Ben Stokes for his “reckless batting” against India on the third day of the ongoing rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Stokes attempted to bat vigorously after coming in to bat at 83/5 as the team was struggling post a batting collapse. Even after getting a couple of extra lives on the field, Stokes was dismissed by Shardul Thakur.
When Stokes tried to elevate the ball, Thakur dropped an easy catch and gave him an extra life. Two overs later, Bumrah dropped a sitter at mid-off, off Thakur’s delivery, and granted the English skipper yet another survival. Bumrah caught him in the same area on the very next delivery by Thakur as Stokes walked off scoring a 36-ball 25.
Pietersen, who was commentating on Sky Sports at the time, was upset by his departure when the hosts were down to 149-6 after India scored 416 in their opening innings.
“I was just watching Ben Stokes there for 10 minutes, and that little passage of play where he ran down the wicket and slogged one straight up in the air. He ran down the wicket again and he slogged it straight to mid-off, dropped catch. This is reckless batting. This is not defending your wicket. This is not protecting what we call the value of your wicket as a batter, because Test match hundreds are valuable commodities. And when you get a Test match hundred it means a hell of a lot, because of the stress and the tension and the patience and the discipline that goes into it,” Pietersen was quoted by Wisden.
Ben Stokes is trying to command some sort of authority by running at bowlers: Pietersen
Meanwhile, the series had started in 2021, when Root and Virat Kohli were the captains and the latter had taken India to a 2-1 lead, before the fifth Test got postponed. Stokes was named the skipper of the side after Joe Root stepped down from the role. In his very first assignment as full-time captain, he bagged a 3-0 victory against New Zealand at home to mark his arrival.
“I would tell Ben Stokes that he doesn’t need to try and prove a point by being ultra-aggressive. Ben Stokes has an aura that when he walks out to the wicket, the bowler knows he needs to be bowling his best deliveries in order to get him out, and sometimes their best deliveries, they know are going to get hit for four, and sometimes get hit for six. What I see at the moment with Ben Stokes is somebody who’s the captain, the leader, and he is trying to command some sort of authority by running at bowlers,” he further stated.