The English red ball team led by Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum at the helm has transformed and changed the way Test cricket is perceived and played. They recently secured a 3-0 lead over Pakistan and it caused a whirlwind in the Pakistan Cricket Board that resulted in loads of changes. The prowess of Bazball was such that Pakistan couldn't find their footing against England on their home soil and were left utterly clueless.
The English cricket team for the past few years has always been at the forefront of taking innovative measures and changes. Be it Eoin Morgan's era in ODI cricket or Ben Stokes' reign in red-ball cricket, England have always taken the first step and they have reaped positive results on most of occasions. Despite adapting to an aggressive template, English Test skipper Ben Stokes feels that the longest format of the game is threatened by the T20 format. The fact of people liking the shortest format of the game can't be discounted, there are loads of leagues that have been formed and renowned cricketers are slowly drifting towards franchise games.
Speaking to Ian Botham on BBC, Stokes said:
Test cricket has been spoken about in a way I don't like. It is losing the attention of the fans with all the new formats and franchise competitions. We understand there are so many opportunities for players away from Test cricket. But for me, it is so important for the game. I love playing Test cricket and felt we could do something different. Taking the result away from the mindset is a great starting point. Putting the focus on making every day entertaining. Not allowing people to know what is going to happen. If people turn up excited about what they are going to watch you've already won before a ball has been bowled.
Ben Stokes also opened up on the scheduling of various series and said:
The scheduling doesn't get enough attention that it should. A great example is England's one-day series against Australia after the T20 World Cup. That was shoving three games in there. It made sense to someone to schedule a series that meant nothing.
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The English Test skipper has been picked up by Chennai Super Kings in this year's IPL mini auctions and he is all set and raring to go for the men in yellow. The all-rounder might be a backup option to take on leadership duties in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.