"Surprised he's not actually mentioned he's nipped above me" - Ben Stokes on Joe Root leapfrogging him in ICC Test all-rounder rankings

England v Australia - LV= Insurance Ashes 3rd Test Match: Day One
Root played a vital role with the ball in England's opening Test win against India

England skipper Ben Stokes cheekily remarked his surprise that star batter Joe Root hasn't mentioned overtaking him on the latest ICC Test all-rounder rankings.

Despite being regarded among the world's best all-rounders, Stokes did not bowl in the first Test against India due to only recently recovering from knee surgery. However, Root was more than just a part-time off-spin option in the Hyderabad Test and bowled an incredible 48 overs.

He was England's best bowler in the first innings with figures of 4/79 and bagged the massive scalp of KL Rahul in the final innings. It led to Root replacing Stokes as the World's No.4 ranked Test all-rounder.

Speaking at the press conference ahead of the second Test, Stokes praised Root's contributions with the ball and the value he adds to the side.

"To also have the benefit of Joe's bowling out here is obviously massive. I'm surprised he's not actually mentioned he's nipped above me, but I think we're just two people who don't really care about stuff like that. He's a great batsman but when his bowling comes into consideration as well, it's a huge bonus having him out here," said Stokes.

The England skipper felt Root underbowled himself as captain and revealed his conversation once he picked up a four-wicket haul in the first innings.

"I did always say to Joe I thought he underbowled himself as captain, and when he walked off with four-fer I did say to him, 'see, I told ya I'd make a bowler out of ya'. Having someone like that out here who is not only someone to throw the ball to and change the pace of the game up - he's bowled me lots of overs, Joe has - then having him batting at four and the runs he's scored and how important he is to us," added Stokes.

Despite being the 10th leading run-scorer in Test history with 11,447 runs, Root has picked up 65 wickets in his illustrious 136-match red-ball career.

The 33-year-old also picked up a five-wicket haul during the 2020/21 Indian tour and averages an impressive 24.84 with the ball in India.


"Goes under the radar how good his record in India is" - Ben Stokes on James Anderson's return to the playing XI

Anderson will be back in the English whites for the second Test at Vizag.
Anderson will be back in the English whites for the second Test at Vizag.

Ben Stokes hailed ace pacer James Anderson for his outstanding bowling record in India as he returns to the playing XI for the second Test.

At 41, Anderson is ten wickets shy of 700 Test wickets and is behind only Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan in the all-time wicket-taking leaders. The Lancashire-born cricketer has picked up 34 wickets in 13 Tests in India at an impressive average of 29.32 and played a pivotal role in England's 2012/13 series win.

"Bringing Jimmy's experience, the class that he has, is great and I think it also goes under the radar how good his record in India is. Considering what Jimmy is going for - 'the swing king' and all that - it just proves how good a bowler he is. He has different skill sets that I will be able to exploit in Indian conditions," said Stokes.

Stokes continued:

"It's not just picking Jimmy for the new ball, it's the other stuff he possesses as well. It's great that Jimmy is doing good things for the old boys out there. It's a huge credit and lots of people should look up to Jimmy considering he is where he is at 41."

Despite missing out on the playing XI for the first Test, Anderson carried drinks as the 12th Man and fielded as a substitute during the game.

Stokes had words of admiration for his attitude by saying:

"I think that's just Jimmy's attitude. If people can understand when they are not part of the playing XI that they can still have a huge influence on Test match week then that is great. It's small things like being 12th man when it's hot, lads need rehydrating and we need to concentrate the whole time with guys coming on and off the field."

James Anderson will replace speedster Mark Wood, who went wicketless in the series opener, in the England XI.

England won the opening Test by 28 runs and will look to grab an improbable 2-0 series lead in the second Test at Vizag, starting February 2.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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