ENG vs SA 2022 | Excited to get back and remind everybody of what we've achieved, asserts Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes has revealed his team will be expected to stick to their strategy in the upcoming Tests against South Africa|
Ben Stokes has expressed excitement at the prospect of returning to play Test cricket when he leads England in the first Test against South Africa, stating he is keen to rediscover their venom. The skipper went on to discuss his side's strategy for the game and what it all boils down to eventually.
Cricketing action is all set to resume in England on the international arena when the hosts take on South Africa in the first of three Tests at Lord's beginning on August 17. Overall, the three lions have played four home tests in the ongoing summer season which began with a visit by New Zealand for a three-match series. In the first assignments for both Ben Stokes as skipper and Brendon McCullum as head coach, England ended up demolishing the Black Caps 3-0 and are thus are unbeaten so far in this new era.
This will be their first match with the red ball since they played India in the first week of July, a game they managed to win pretty comfortably by 7 wickets. In the meanwhile, the side has played three ODIs and T20Is each against South Africa and India. While they lost both T20I series as well as the ODIs against India by a margin of 2-1, the third 50-over game against the Proteas was washed out thus leaving the series drawn at 1-1.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the game, Stokes revealed he was looking forward to playing red-ball cricket after a break extending over a month.
"It has felt like we've been a really long time away from each other - obviously there has been a lot of different cricket, different formats played - so there is a real excitement for me to get back in there, see everybody, and reminding everybody about what we've achieved and sticking to our guns. It's about making sure that five-week period doesn't mean we've lost our venom. It would be easy to have so long away to almost forget the place we managed to find ourselves in," he said on Tuesday.
A large focus of the series will be on so-called 'Bazball', the label given to the aggressive brand of Test cricket propagated by the duo of McCullum and Stokes. In their new partnership, they have taken England to 275-plus chases in all four games courtesy of some revolutionary, attacking batting. However, South Africa captain Dean Elgar recently dismissed any concerns about England's approach, provoking Stokes to talk about it further.
"The opposition seem to be doing a lot of the talking at the moment about it. We just concentrate on what we do. We've got a style of play, they've got a style of play. At the end of the day, it's bat against ball and whoever plays best over a Test match is most likely to win. For me, it's just about reiterating the points that we were making at the start of the summer - our mindset, attitude and everything like that - about how we go out and play our cricket," he added.