Watch: Ben Stokes pulls off a blinder as Shreyas Iyer fails yet again
Ben Stokes is regarded as one of the best all-rounders of the modern game and he proved it yet again on Sunday. Not with bat or ball this time, but with his superlative fielding effort. At a time when India were looking good and solid, Stokes once again produced a moment of brilliance in the field to break a dangerous looking 81-run stand between Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer.
Gill and Iyer were under pressure due to their poor form in this format but with luck on their side, both were looking set. Iyer especially, looked more assured and rotated the strike well. He was solid throughout his innings and looked set for a big one this time. Known to be an excellent player of spin, he mixed caution with aggression well before gifting his wicket away to Tom Hartley.
Batting on 29, Iyer looked to go over mid-on but miscued his shot to the off-side. Stokes ran 22 metres towards the long-off and dived full length while keeping his eyes on the ball. He seemed to have lost the sight of the ball at one time but maintained his composure well enough to pluck it out of nowhere.
Here is Stokes’ catch:
Stokes has produced some brilliant moments in the field before as well. Most recently being Ravindra Jadeja’s run-out in the last Test which paved the way for England to go for a win. He may not be fit enough to bowl but his brave captaincy calls and superhuman efforts in the field makes him a huge asset in the English team.
Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer’s struggles in the longest format continued as he yet again failed to convert his start into a big one. His recent string of low scores read 6, 0, 4*, 35, 13, and 29 in his last six Test innings. On the contrary, Shubman Gill finally had some runs under his belt as he scored a much-needed century. He scored 104 before getting out to Shoaib Bashir.Earlier in the day, James Anderson made full use of helpful morning conditions as he removed both the India openers cheaply. Thanks to Jasprit Bumrah, India took a healthy lead of 143 runs yesterday after England were bowled out for 253 in their first innings.