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Ben Stokes hits back at Harmison’s remarks of England losing 5-0 against India

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Ben Stokes during training ahead of the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings, at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, in Bengaluru on April 16, 2023.

Ben Stokes during training ahead of the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings, at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, in Bengaluru on April 16, 2023.
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

England Test skipper Ben Stokes hit back at former cricketer Steve Harmison for his remarks on England’s lack of preparation for their upcoming Test series against India.

Former pacer Harmison who is also a close friend of Stokes questioned England arriving in India just three days before the five-match Test series.

He feels that the lack of acclimation could turn out to be a recipe for disaster. He also went on to claim that England could go on to “deserve to get beaten 5-0”.

Stokes replied to a video of Harmison’s comments and said as quoted from Sky Sports, “Good job we’re going to Abu Dhabi for a training camp before we go to India for even more training before that first Test then, isn’t it?”

Harmison suggested that England’s approach regarding their Test series against India was insufficient while telling talkSPORT as quoted from Sky Sports, “If England go in three days before, they deserve to get beat 5-0, they really do.”

“I’m an old man, that’s what they’ll say. Times have changed, but preparation hasn’t changed. I love this new approach, I love Ben Stokes and [head coach] Brendon McCullum. But I’m sorry, going three days before… You’d never do that for an Ashes series. You’d never go to Australia three days before the Gabba, so why go three days before Hyderabad? For me it stinks, it absolutely stinks,” Harmison added.

England would be keen to turn their fortunes around in 2024 as last time they lost 3-1 on Indian soil.

Meanwhile, Stokes is in a race against time to get fit for the series. The experienced all-rounder had recently come out of ODI retirement to participate in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, where he played as a specialist batter. His issues with his knee have prevented him from playing his role as an all-rounder effectively as he has rarely bowled as of late.

He went for knee surgery after the World Cup which was successful and now it is time for him to undergo rehabilitation.

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