Ben Stokes will lead England with controlled aggression vs West Indies from front: Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar has little doubt that Ben Stokes will lead England from the front in the opening Test against West Indies, with his "controlled aggression" and infectious enthusiasm most supporting him.
Tendulkar spoke with West Indies legend Brian Lara on the online platform '100 mb' about stand-in English skipper Stokes while previewing the three-Test series that starts in Southampton on Wednesday. The match marks the international cricket resumption in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To Lara 's question about Stokes, Tendulkar said, "He's someone who's going to lead from the front, we've seen it on a lot of occasions. He 's confident, optimistic and when he's got to be slightly defensive he 's able to do it for the team.
"I just believe controlled violence produces results and so far, as I've seen, there has been violence but it's being controlled. So that's what I feel about Ben Stokes.'
It's the first time that Stokes leads England not to have even captained a first-class team in his career. Regular skipper Joe Root has opted out of the game to attend his second child's birth.
Tendulkar said, "For Ben Stokes it's a complete turnaround from what he's been through in the recent past to where he's today and that can only happen to someone who's mentally powerful.
"I was able to see his body language when I first looked at him a few years ago that it was so energetic and lively and that optimism is contagious.
"I felt that he was one of those players where, in time to come, you look back and say Ben stokes, (Andrew) Flintoff, Ian Botham, these are the leading all-rounders who played for England. I really highly rate him and his impact on the field is one of greatest."
Lara said that, in addition to Jason Holder's captaincy batting, he will hold the key for West Indies against a fine England seam attack and reminded the likes of Shai Hope to take a look at Tendulkar 's epic 241 at the SCG and a couple of his own knocks in English
You don't have to overpower any bowler, necessarily. When you bat on 70-80 and someone gives you trouble you back off
Continuing, Lara said to his once-great rival You know that as well as Sachin in terms of the great innings you played in Sydney, it wasn't about a particular bowler getting you out, but it was a particular shot that got you out and you stopped playing it and you could score in other areas So it's a similar sort of approach."
The Prince of Trinidad, who had played some fine knocks in England, remembered his batting style there.
"I recalled a lot of innings I've played with Chanderpaul or Jimmy Adams in the past. Those partnerships were so, so important to get me to where I got to, getting the team the runs I needed.
"Once again, with all the challenges the West Indies team faces with the bat, partnerships are important, rotating the strike, making sure you keep out the best deliveries from the bowlers and punish the bad ones. "It will be key for the West Indies to put runs of on the board," Lara said.