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R Ashwin reveals Ben Stokes’ major mindset issue that benefitted India during ENG series: ‘He worried so much about…’

Ashwin elaborated on his battle and asserted that Stokes looked extra cautious about getting LBW against him in the red-ball format.

Ace India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin opened up on his on-field battle with England Test skipper Ben Stokes as he got the better of him on multiple occasions in the recently concluded series. Ashwin has dismissed Stokes 13 times in red-ball format to prove his domination over him. The 37-year-old claimed a five-wicket haul in his 100th Test match against England at Dharamsala where he also dismissed Stokes in the second innings.

Ravichandran Ashwin opens up on his battle with Ben Stokes.

Ashwin elaborated on his battle and asserted that Stokes looked extra cautious about getting LBW against him in the red-ball format.

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“I just felt like when Stokes gets into these very defensive shells, he allows you to come a little fuller and wider on occasions because he’s worried so much about the LBW. His bat is almost, pointing down to the ground that he gets into the zones of literally being extra tight and he could just lunge forward to every single ball on those occasions,” Ashwin told Indian Express.

The veteran offie shared how he got rid of Stokes in the second innings of the Hyderabad Test as he cleaned up the England skipper for 6.

“In Hyderabad he wanted to play a lot of the back-foot. It was the slowest surface that I’ve seen in all these years of playing cricket. So when the ball turns, it just beats your bat and doesn’t hit the stump. So Stokes was hanging back. That’s the same load he found himself in Ranchi,” he explained.

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Ashwin also cleaned up Stokes in Dharamsala as he revealed that his plan was to trap the English all-rounder in front of the wicket but the bounce helped to breach the gap between bat and pads to hit the timber.

“Over here, I felt his front foot was moving farther than usual — because he wanted to hit and at the same time, get to lunch. So I just wanted to keep the line a little outside offs-stump to see if you would lunge. And my intention was to get him out LBW. If you look at the replay also you’ll find that the bat is close to the pad. Only the upper half was a little open. And the ball found enough bounce and deviation to just get between bat and bad at that top half. My intention was to get him out LBW, but the bounce enabled me to get through the transit,” he added.


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