AHMEDABAD: He may not have bowled much in the first two Tests against India, but going into the all-important pink-ball game at the Motera Stadium, England all-rounder Ben Stokes had a full-throttle bowling session on Tuesday.
He was not running at 100 per cent at the start of the session, but as he warmed up, the all-rounder started going all out to gain some much-needed practice.
If the training style is a sign of things to come, then it looks like England might come in with the strategy of three pacers playing with Stokes filing in as the fourth bowler. Stokes bowling will also allow skipper Joe Root to play two spinners.
England fast bowler James Anderson might have torn apart India’s batting line-up in the opening game, but the pacer doesn’t expect reverse swing to play the same role (first Test) in the upcoming pink-ball game.
Anderson said if the wicket is “abrasive” the bowlers might get some help with the ball doing some movement but looking at how the things have panned out in the net session, reverse swing is unlikely.
“It doesn’t feel a lot different [to other brands of pink ball]. What we have found with all the pink balls, it seems like they have an extra bit of lacquer on them so it feels a bit more plastic, the coating, rather than on the red ball where you can feel the leather,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Anderson as saying.
“It feels very similar to the Dukes in the hand. I think we will be unlikely to see reverse. It depends on the pitch — if the pitch is really abrasive you might see a bit of reverse, but from how we’ve bowled it in the nets I would be very surprised if it does reverse. It may well stay a bit harder for longer. We’ll have to wait and see how it reacts after 40-50 overs,” Anderson, who missed the second Test, added.
The four-match series between India and England currently stands level at 1-1. The two teams will now lock horns in the third Test at Motera Stadium on Wednesday. The Motera Stadium is the world’s largest cricket stadium with a capacity of 1,32,000 spectators.