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New Zealand being a pace bowler short did give us the advantage: England skipper Ben Stokes


NOTTINGHAM: England skipper Ben Stokes agreed that New Zealand being a pace bowler short — Kyle Jamieson could not bowl in the second innings due to serious back issues — played a big role in momentum shifting in the hosts’ favor in the second Test at Trent Bridge.

With Jamieson rule out, it was always going to be a tough ask for the rest of the New Zealand bowlers to decimate a strong England batting, and that is what happened on Tuesday, with Jonny Bairstow scoring a T20-style 136 (92 balls) and Ben Stokes smashing an unbeaten 75 to guide England to a five-wicket win and take a 2-0 lead in the three-Test series.

“Test cricket isn’t necessarily about what you’ve seen there, but we wanted to put pressure back on their (New Zealand) attack; a seamer down a huge advantage (for England), and once Jonny (Bairstow) gets his ‘ Jonny eyes’ there’s no stopping him. (Ben) Foakesy gives the bowlers confidence and the slips confidence, and a vital knock,” said Stokes.

“Got to give credit to the boys for all five days, phenomenal performance. Today was set up perfectly for how we want to go about it, run into the danger rather than back away or stand still. Credit to Leesy (Alex Lees) at the top again, two really important knocks for the team again, everyone’s contributed.

Stokes added that England’s victory push had started when his bowlers came back to bowl in the second innings and managed to restrict the Blackcaps below 300.

“The way we bowled, out there a long time, change of plans but (we) have to be proactive, not reactive.”

The skipper also said that he was very clear in his mind that he wanted Ollie Pope in the side. Pope (145) along with Joe Root (176) laid the foundation for the win with their first-innings batting heroics.

“Ollie Pope, I was very clear about him being in my team, the word that gets used is repaying the faith, but he doesn’t owe us anything. We’ve seen what he’s all about this week. A huge shout-out to Nottingham for what they did, don’t under-estimate the power of a home crowd.”

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