England finds themselves in a state of upheaval after falling behind 1-2 in their ongoing Test series against India. The team’s dynamics for the upcoming fourth Test are facing intense scrutiny, especially in the aftermath of a significant 434-run defeat in the Third Test at Rajkot.

Adding to the intrigue, England’s head coach, Brendon McCullum, provided insights into the potential involvement of their captain, Ben Stokes, in the bowling department in the imminent battle. Still on the path to recovery from knee surgery, Stokes has not bowled since the second Ashes Test in June of the previous year (2023).

Brendon McCullum on Ben Stokes’ bowling prospect in fourth Test

McCullum expressed optimism about Stokes’ potential return to bowling. He acknowledged the positive sign of the all-rounder considering a return to the bowling crease but emphasized Stokes’ intelligence in pushing himself only if he feels genuinely ready.

The cricketer-turned-coach highlighted the cautious approach, emphasizing the need for Stokes to ensure he can seamlessly handle the demands of bowling without risking any setbacks.

“Well, it’s good that he’s actually getting into a state where he thinks he might bowl, But Ben is clever; he’s really clever as well. He won’t bowl unless he thinks he’s legitimately able to bowl. The problem would be if he starts getting into a spell and then he can’t get out of the spell. So we’ll see what unfolds. If he does get that bit between his teeth, then let’s see where the danger lies there and try and pull him away from it. But it’s a good sign.” McCullum said, as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

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McCullum on England’s approach in the upcoming Test at Ranchi

McCullum further expressed confidence in the team’s overall performance, emphasizing the exceptional cricket played by some specific players in the preceding three matches. The former New Zealand batter conveyed the team’s commitment to fully supporting the XI chosen for the upcoming match. Looking forward, he expressed hope for a positive change in the team’s current situation.

“We’ve got a group of players here who have played some outstanding cricket so far over the last three Test matches and whatever XI we decide to go with we will fully back. Hopefully we’ll be in a different situation to what we’re in now,” the 42-year-old added.

Also READ – IND vs ENG: Ben Stokes demands abolishment of umpire’s call from DRS after Zak Crawley’s controversial dismissal

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