Home Cricket The Ashes 2023: ‘Ben Stokes Conveys His Fearlessness to Australia’

The Ashes 2023: ‘Ben Stokes Conveys His Fearlessness to Australia’

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Ashes 2023 Day 2 Review

England showed impressive form on the second day of the inaugural Ashes Test at Edgbaston, although they will surely rue the missed opportunities.

A lead of 50 runs on this pitch would be pivotal for either team.

Despite the absence of any noticeable seam or swing, the pitch exhibited signs of irregular bounce and is beginning to favor spin, a fact dramatically illustrated by Moeen Ali’s lethal delivery that bowled out Cameron Green.

If Jonny Bairstow hadn’t missed his stumping and dropped a catch, if Stuart Broad hadn’t overstepped while bowling to Usman Khawaja, England might well have been in a dominant position to secure that advantage.

However, with Australia trailing England by 82 runs and five wickets remaining, the match is far from decided.

Australia resists England’s persistent attack through Khawaja’s magnificent century
Stokes toys with Australia

This day has reaffirmed, beyond any doubt, that Ben Stokes possesses a unique style of leadership. He is unparalleled in my experience.

His message to Australia was clear: “I am not intimidated by you.”

He boldly declared, “I will bowl Harry Brook to your best batsman and maintain an aggressive field regardless of your offence.”

As England’s captain, Stokes toyed with Australia, adding an extra layer of intrigue to this series.

His decision to bring on Brook shortly after Steve Smith stepped onto the pitch was a fascinating strategy and incredibly humorous.

Typical club cricketers would have encountered players like Brook. Despite being a part-time seamer with a somewhat awkward action, Smith has repeatedly resisted England’s onslaught.

The expected move would have been for James Anderson or Stuart Broad to pitch the ball up, seek an edge, and stack the slips, but Stokes opted for a gamble, believing the notion of getting out to a part-timer would unnerve his opponents.

Just because it didn’t work this time doesn’t negate the brilliance of the idea.

Stokes’ leadership reflects his life approach

Stokes appears to consider any defensive move as regressive, which mirrors his approach to life.

His team includes a spinner, Moeen, who was supposed to retire two weeks ago and contribute to our commentary on Test Match Special. However, he was targeted by Travis Head and Khawaja after lunch.

The Australian duo smashed 10 boundaries, including three straight sixes, but Stokes ignored the consensus, refusing to position a fielder on the boundary despite the grumbles from the commentary box.

I, too, disdain deploying a fielder on the boundary too soon. A batter needs a few attempts before a captain makes that move, but even I felt that Moeen could use some backing.

Defying the norm, Stokes held firm and was rewarded when Head hoisted a catch to mid-wicket in an attempt to smash Moeen out of the ground.

In my time, spinners would invite the batter to hit an airborne shot by pitching the ball up and positioning a fielder in the deep – a similar tactic but reversed in execution.

Cricket is largely a mind game, and Stokes has demonstrated his readiness to use this to his benefit.

It was Stokes one, the rest of us none.

Bairstow still has leeway

Despite the potential of the pitch to deteriorate, no chances should be wasted on this surface.

The blunders made by England were unforced errors – these things happen.

While some argue that no-balls are a result of poor rhythm, Broad was the only member of England’s attack who played in the recent match against Ireland.

There may be some questioning Ben Foakes’ omission from the team after he was replaced for this series when Bairstow returned from his leg injury

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ashes 2023 Day 2 Review

How did Ben Stokes’ leadership style manifest in this match?

Stokes displayed a fearless and unique style of leadership in the match. He was unafraid to use unconventional tactics, such as bowling part-timer Harry Brook against Australia’s best batsman. Despite Australia’s aggressive attack, he also refused to place fielders on the boundary, a decision that eventually paid off.

What was the state of the game at the end of day two of the Ashes 2023 Test at Edgbaston?

At the end of day two, Australia was trailing England by 82 runs with five wickets in hand. The game is still undecided and could go either way.

Why was Moeen Ali’s role in the game notable?

Moeen Ali’s role was notable due to the potent delivery that saw Cameron Green bowled out. Despite being slated to retire two weeks before the game and supposed to be a part of the commentary team, Moeen was a key player on the field.

What were some of the missed opportunities for England on day two?

Some of the missed opportunities for England included Jonny Bairstow missing his stumping and dropping a catch, and Stuart Broad overstepping while bowling to Usman Khawaja.

What was the standout performance for Australia on day two?

Usman Khawaja delivered a standout performance for Australia, scoring an unbeaten century. This was particularly notable as he had only managed one Test fifty on his previous visits to England.

More about Ashes 2023 Day 2 Review

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OldSchoolCricket June 18, 2023 - 1:41 am

Love that Stokes is not scared to go against the grain. Bold decision not putting fielders on the boundary, but it paid off.

BowlerBoi June 18, 2023 - 5:52 am

stokes is a maverick, never know what he’ll do next. makes the game so much more exciting!!

BallAndBat June 18, 2023 - 11:20 am

Really thought Moeen was gonna be on commentary, not on the pitch lol. His delivery to Green was insane though!

SpinnerMagic June 18, 2023 - 12:21 pm

Seeing Moeen back on the field instead of in the commentary box was a real surprise! His delivery to Green was magic.

CricketFan101 June 18, 2023 - 3:39 pm

stokes is a real deal!! Never seen a captain like him before. Just loves to play mind games, and it works!!

ThePitchMaster June 18, 2023 - 3:54 pm

Looks like the pitch is gonna be a game changer… uneven bounce and turn, going to be interesting!

FieldingFiend June 18, 2023 - 6:08 pm

Bairstow needs to up his game. Can’t afford to miss stumpings in the Ashes.

AshesLover23 June 18, 2023 - 7:30 pm

why did broad have to overstep?? Those missed chances could really cost us the game 🙁

StuartTheMan June 18, 2023 - 9:36 pm

Khawaja was amazing, what a century! He really saved Australia there.

CenturyLover June 18, 2023 - 9:54 pm

That century from Khawaja was pure class. Celebrated like a man who’d been waiting for it for a long time.


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