'He is as good as two players, England will be weakened': Chopra explains why Stokes' absence 'is good news for India'
Ben Stokes missing the India-England Test series "is good news for India", feels former India cricketer Aakash Chopra. Ahead of the commencement of the five-match bilateral series, the star England all-rounder announced an indefinite break from the game to focus on his mental health.
Cricketer-turned-commentator, while speaking during a video on his YouTube channel, elaborated the impact that Stokes' absence could have on the series.
"India will benefit a lot from Ben Stokes' absence. He is as good as two players in one. In Tests, he plays like a proper batsman coming in at No.5 or No.6 and has the ability to change the course of a match. He is a wicket-taker with the ball and is also an excellent slip fielder. So his absence is good news for India," quipped Chopra.
Furthermore, Chopra remarked that with Stokes set to miss India Tests, the visitors may be able to dismiss the tail sooner. It is no secret that one of India's main weaknesses in the past has been their inability to dismiss the opposition tail. On numerous occasions, including the Test series at home against England, the tail-enders of the opposition have put on valuable runs on the board towards the end.
"The pressure will be a bit less on India and they might be able to dismiss the tail sooner. England will be a bit weakened even before the series has started," added Chopra.
Stokes has emerged as a dependent all-format player for England. In 71 Tests, he has scored 4631 runs at an average of 37.04. He has 24 fifties and 10 centuries to his name.
The first Test between England and India will begin on August 4 at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.