"He made a big error:" Geoffrey Boycott thinks Ben Stokes' mistake cost England the Ranchi Test against India

The former England opener believes Ben Stokes made a big mistake by opening the bowling with two spinners.

Geoffrey Boycott slammed Ben Stokes?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
Despite having a 46-run lead after the first innings of both the teams, England lost the decisive match.

After starting brightly in the ongoing Test series against India at Hyderabad, England lost the next three matches. As a result, the home team has now taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series. Although the visitors have given a tough fight throughout the series, they have failed to win crucial moments.

In the fourth Test at Ranchi, England were in good position for most parts of the match. They had taken a crucial 46-run lead after the first innings. On a tricky pitch where ball was turning and keeping relatively low, it looked like a target close to 200 would not be easy for India.

But Ben Stokes’ men failed to put India out of the game and could score just 145 in their second innings, leaving India with 192 runs to win. India started the chase brightly and ended Day 3 on 40-0 in just 8 overs. Giving away 40 runs in no time ultimately cost England in the end.

"I think Stokes out-thought himself:" Geoffrey Boycott

While writing for his column at The Telegraph, former England opener Geoffrey Boycott opined that Ben Stokes made a mistake by giving the new ball to Joe Root and Tom Hartley during the final hour of Day 3.

“I like Stokes’ captaincy but I thought he made a big error by opening the bowling with two spinners, Root and Tom Hartley. Stokes was thinking that a harder new ball would bounce more and a raised seam would create more spin,” Boycott wrote.

“The problem is that unless you are experienced at bowling spin with a new ball then the lacquer makes it slip out of the fingers so it is difficult to drop it on a length. When I played, spinners could rub the ball in the dirt to rough it up and grip it better but that is banned now so it is hard for them to control. I think Stokes out-thought himself,” England legend added in his column.

“Chasing small totals in the last innings of a Test match has historically proved difficult for many teams because the pitch is usually worn and playing tricks. Early wickets are a priceless bonus but it is also imperative the bowlers tie the batsmen down to build pressure on the batting team. The game and series were lost by the batsmen,” Boycott concluded.

Read: India youngsters make big leaps in latest ICC Test Rankings

At one point, India were 84-0 in their second innings, but England’s young spinners left India struggling at 120-5. Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel then stitched together an unbeaten 72-run partnership to avoid any further hiccups and took India home by 5 wickets.