Senior India off-spinner R Ashwin dismissed England captain Ben Stokes with a jaffa in England’s second innings of the Hyderabad Test. This was the 12th time Ashwin had got rid of Stokes in Test cricket, the most he’s dismissed a batsman in the longest format.
This wicket of Stokes, who was England’s top-scorer in the first innings with 70, was key for India as Stokes would have added quickly to England’s lead. Today, though, the Indian spinners were simply brilliant against Stokes, in particular R Ashwin, as the left-hander managed only 6 runs in 33 balls, and didn’t so any damage to the hosts.
R Ashwin had a false start at the start of England’s second innings as he was hit off his line. However, in the second session of the day, the great off-spinner was back to his best, using his coterie of variations without giving away anything to Stokes. He made the English skipper play on both the back foot and front by varying his lengths. In the two overs leading to Stokes’ dismissal, R Ashwin had got Stokes to play mostly on the back foot, forcing him to camp on it.
So when he bowled a fuller ball, the England skipper was still camped on the backfoot. The ball pitched on full length on the middle stump line and turned just enough to beat Ben Stokes’ outside edge and hit the off-stump while keeping a tad low. Stokes looked frustrated at the dismissal, which made it now a dozen times he’s got out to Ashwin.
Watch: R Ashwin shows off mastery to castle Ben Stokes
📽️ R Ashwin to Ben Stokes
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 27, 2024
Batters dismissed most times by Ashwin in Tests
12 B Stokes
11 D Warner
9 A Cook
8 T Latham/ S Smith/ K Brathwaite
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
England (Playing XI): Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes(c), Ben Foakes(w), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, Jack Leach