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Best bit of captaincy from Stokes in England’s greatest away win: Hussain

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Last updated on 05 Dec 2022 | 02:30 PM
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Best bit of captaincy from Stokes in England’s greatest away win: Hussain

Nasser Hussain also spoke highly on Stokes’ captaincy in the Rawalpindi win

Days like these are rare in international cricket. But if any format brings such rarity so often, it is Test cricket and perhaps why it is heralded as the toughest format of the game. Despite all of that, what Ben Stokes, Brendon McCullum and England did over the last five days in Rawalpindi is beyond explanation. 

If T20 cricket was a concoction of the game, Stokes’ Three Lions played an ever flowing attacking brand of cricket against the red-ball, that has never been seen. Across both the innings, England batters never batted with a run-rate of less than 6. Forget that, what Stokes did over the last five days as a skipper was as close to perfection. 

Talking to Sky Sports post the clash, former England skipper, Nasser Hussain was clear that this was the best bit of captaincy that he has ever seen in his lifetime. On the clash, Hussain insisted that there was no way there should have been a result. 

“You think you have seen everything in this game until you see the last five days. There is no reason at all that on that pitch, there should be have been a result apart from one team we forgot, that is Stokes and McCullum. The rate they got their runs, to go out there and get 20 wickets, I think it is the best bit of captaincy I have seen,” Hussain told Sky Sports. 

“Rarely do you get five days where you get every decision spot on. The way he sends his batter, to go out there and score at 6.7 RPO, to get you ahead in the game and put you in front. Then you time your declaration spot on. There were stages when people were like, really Ben Stokes, did you get the declaration, spot on?”

Hussain called the Rawalpindi win as the “greatest away win” for England, and pointed out at the various decision that Stokes took which turned the game in the visitors’ favour on a pitch that was quite placid. 

“Every decision that he made today, including keeping the old ball, keeping himself back for the old ball. Getting that ball reverse-swinging, timing of taking the new ball. Every decision was spot on, with his team backing up. The team will run through a brick wall for Stokes. Ollie Robinson bowling spell like that. Giving Leach the new ball, as he himself said, it is the greatest away win for England.”

“I can’t remember during my playing days, growing up or commentating, a better performance. A performance where you have to get everything right, where you have to walk the talk. I would call it one of their greatest away victories.”

The 54-year-old, born in Chennai, also spoke about how it is days like these that bring a lot of eyes to the game. In addition, Nasser also credited the way Harry Brook batted, where he broke several records during his stay in the first innings. 

“Last couple of days, what McCullum and Stokes are doing has brought a lot of eyes to the game. It may lead to other people carrying the legacy on. Someone like Harry Brook and the way he has been batting, is absolutely vital. A Test match win in conditions like this, means so much. An 18-year-old, a 40-year-old in the aisle will remember this, days like these”.

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