Stokes puts spotlight on England superstar before Ashwin's milestone 100th Test | Crickit
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Ben Stokes puts spotlight on England superstar before R Ashwin's milestone 100th Test: 'Amazing career to date'

By, New Delhi
Mar 06, 2024 06:38 PM IST

Ben Stokes pointed out that his England teammate is also approaching a major milestone in the 5th Test against Ravichandran Ashwin-starrer India.

With crestfallen England hoping to salvage some pride in the final game of the five-game series against Rohit Sharma’s Team India, Ben Stokes and Co. have recalled pacer Mark Wood in their playing XI for the Dharamsala encounter on Thursday. Hosts India have already sealed the series by taking an unassailable 3-1 lead over England in the riveting five-game saga. In a rarity of Test cricket, veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and England batter Jonny Bairstow will play their 100th Test together on Friday.

Stokes discussed the 'amazing career' of his England teammate ahead of Ashwin's landmark 100th Test (AFP-PTI)
Stokes discussed the 'amazing career' of his England teammate ahead of Ashwin's landmark 100th Test (AFP-PTI)

Only for the fourth time, two players will feature in their 100th game together in the longest format. The same feat was first recorded by ex-England captain Michael Atherton and wicketkeeper Alec Stewart against the West Indies in 2000. It will also be the second time that two players from opposing teams will play their 100th Test in the same encounter.

ALSO READ: Rohit Sharma doffs his hat to milestone man Ravichandran Ashwin as India meet Ben Stokes' England in 5th Test

While England's Bairstow will hope to regain some form in Dharamsala, Ashwin has been India's wrecker-in-chief throughout the Test series. The veteran spinner completed 500 Test wickets in the five-match series against England. Speaking at the press conference ahead of the 5th Test against England, Stokes observed that his teammate Bairstow will have an emotional day at the office in Dharamsala.

'Playing for England means so much to Jonny'

"This is probably going to be more of an emotional thing for Jonny than it ever was for me. I don't need to go into details as to why about the whole family. He's got his mam, sister, partner, little baby boy and some friends here. Playing for England means so much to Jonny and his family as well, and to play over 100 ODIs and 100 Tests - a lot of cricket for England - it means a hell of a lot to him. He deserves everything that gets spoken about him in the build-up to the game and throughout the week as well," Stokes said.

Stokes also opted to put the spotlight on veteran pacer James Anderson, who is closing on a staggering feat in Test cricket. The 41-year-old has been named in England's XI for the 5th Test against Virat Kohli-less Team India. Fast bowler Anderson only needs two wickets to become the third bowler with 700 wickets in Tests. Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and late Australian great Shane Warne (708) have picked over 700 wickets in Test cricket.

'Jimmy coming up to 700 wickets'

"Jimmy coming up to 700 wickets, it's phenomenal to think about, especially as a seam bowler. Amazing career to date, and I can't see him stopping. I have played with Jimmy for a long time and I've never seen him as physically fit as he does right now. Being 41, showing that hunger and desire to get better every single day is a testament to his attitude and commitment to the game," Stokes added.

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