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Trevor Bayliss feels Ben Stokes must learn how to get away with it better

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. (Photo Source: BCCI)

England’s head coach Trevor Bayliss feels all-rounder Ben Stokes has come a long way in the last 12 months as far as on-field behaviour is concerned and also warned the match officials that coming hard on this player or what he calls “by-play” between players might rob cricket of its great characters in the game.

Stokes who has been in the limelight of late for his on-field banter with India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli during the Mohali Test moved an inch closer to a possible suspension. He was charged by the match referee Roshan Mahanama for using “language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting” during a heated argument with Kohli after the southpaw was dismissed stumped during England’s first innings.

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It was the 2nd official warning for Stokes in less than a month after he was fined 15% of his match fees for “verbally engaging” with Bangladesh batsman Sabbir Rahman during the 2nd Test in Dhaka. Two more charges in the next two years might result in him being suspended for one Test or two ODIs depending upon the fixtures.

“I think at times the ICC are almost looking for things,” Bayliss said. “I agree things have been out of hand in the past and we don’t want it to go overboard. But sometimes a little bit of by-play between a couple of guys on either side who are passionate about their cricket and their team, I think it’s good for the game.

“We’ve just got to be careful we don’t go overboard and completely cut that out. I think having some personalities in the game is fantastic to watch. Ben Stokes has got to learn to deal with it in a different way or get away with it a bit better. I think he’s come a long way in the last 12 months or so and I’m sure he’ll keep improving in that area.”

With England trailing 2-0 in the 5 match series, Ben Stokes’ performance in the series has been quite brilliant. The left-hander scored a magnificent century in the Rajkot Test and followed it up with a five-wicket haul in Mohali on a surface which had very less assistance for the pacers. He also became the 6th foreign player to score a century and bag a five-wicket haul in a Test series in India.

“That’s a feather in his cap,” Bayliss said. “Some of us are in awe of him. He just doesn’t stop. He’s like a wind-up clock. You get him off at the break, wind him up and send him back out,” the head coach concluded.

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