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Ben Stokes’ Leadership Battle with Jasprit Bumrah is Fascinating Sidelight to Entertaining Game: Ian Chappell

Jasprit Bumrah’s appointment as India’s stand-in Test captain is a “courageous decision” based on his “tactical nous”, and his leadership duel with England skipper Ben Stokes is providing a fascinating sidelight to an entertaining game in Birmingham, feels the legendary Ian Chappell.

The former Australian captain compared the various contemporary international captains, and observed that Stokes’ success as skipper shouldn’t surprise anyone since he understands bowling.

On Bumrah being appointed captain, Chappell felt the Indian cricket establishment’s decision may have been prompted by the success achieved by Pat Cummins of Australia and Stokes.

“Perhaps looking to emulate the success of captains Pat Cummins and Stokes, India appointed fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah as captain for their current Test with England. This is a courageous appointment and speaks volumes for Bumrah’s on-field nous,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPN Cricinfo.

“His leadership battle with Bumrah will be a fascinating sidelight to what will be an entertaining game,” Chappell wrote during the ongoing India versus England Test match in Birmingham.

On Stokes’ appointment, the renowned Australian skipper seemed delighted.

“No one should be shocked by the success of Ben Stokes as captain. He’s an all-rounder who understands bowling.

“On the field his main priority is taking wickets, and despite Joe Root’s dazzling success as a batter, Stokes is the most inspirational England player on the field.”

Chappell also explained the recipe of Cummins’ success.

“Like with Stokes, no one should be surprised by Cummins’ success. He leads a varied attack that contains very good bowlers and he utilises them wisely. It also doesn’t hurt that Nathan Lyon is a very experienced and long-time spinner,” he wrote.

“Part of Cummins’ success as captain comes from recognising Australia’s ability to handle an opposition assault, and how he maintains his composure.

“Australia also have enough good batters to mount a challenge, and their superiority helped them demolish a weak Sri Lankan side this week.

“Handling opposition assaults and not spreading fields senselessly is one sure way to gain an advantage in Test cricket.”

Chappell believes that Stokes scores more as a leader than New Zealand’s World Test Championship-winning skipper Kane Williamson.

“This is an area where Stokes scored over New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. Fast bowler Trent Boult was the only New Zealander who maintained a semblance of control under assault, especially from the destructive Jonny Bairstow. The fact that Williamson had a very inexperienced spinner in Michael Bracewell didn’t help.

“If a captain has a competitive team who believe in his methods, a lot of good things happen. The players tend to expect, and consequently produce, a good outcome.”

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