England vs New Zealand: Coach Jon Lewis insists Ben Stokes opted for the ‘aggressive’ approach


‘We could easily have bowled them out for 250’: England bowling coach Jon Lewis insists Ben Stokes opted for the ‘aggressive’ approach by choosing to let New Zealand bat first, and claims ‘there was threat all day’

  • New Zealand ended day one of the second Test in England with a superb score
  • The tourists were put into bat first, with Ben Stokes looking to be ‘aggressive’ 
  • But bowling coach Jon Lewis admitted his side fell ‘short’ of their ambitions 
  • He also, however, declared England could have bowled their rivals out for 250 

England bowling coach Jon Lewis insisted Ben Stokes had taken the aggressive option after choosing to bowl on a day which ended with New Zealand well placed at 318 for four in the second LV= Insurance Test in Nottingham.

‘I thought it was an honest day’s work,’ he said. ‘We were just a little bit short of what we would have liked. The most important thing about the toss was it was an aggressive play. We were coming out to try to bowl New Zealand out. Unfortunately we missed a couple of chances.

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‘I thought there was threat all day. The boys went past the edge of the bat. We could have easily bowled them out for 250, and we’d be in a very different position.’

Ben Stokes opted for the ‘aggressive’ option by bowling first, says England coach Jon Lewis

England conceded 43 fours and two sixes in 87 overs, with their bowlers frequently driven through the covers as they strove for a full length and swing. 

Lewis admitted: ‘We’re choosing at the moment to take the aggressive option and be courageous with what we do.’

But New Zealand’s No 3 Devon Conway said the tactic had played into the tourists hands on a day when the run-rate often touched four an over.

Lewis (right) insisted Stokes's side are attempting to be 'courageous' despite their struggles

Lewis (right) insisted Stokes’s side are attempting to be ‘courageous’ despite their struggles

‘Even in the first Test we felt they bowled quite full,’ he said. ‘By bowling that, it provided scoring opportunities and we tried to put pressure back on to the bowlers. They resorted to bowling short balls at us, and that allowed us to score again.’

Conway said he was ‘shocked’ the umpires didn’t change the ball because of Covid protocols after it landed in a spectator’s pint of cider following a straight six by Daryl Mitchell off Jack Leach.

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But he added: ‘Certainly it didn’t swing as much, so Daryl played a smart shot.’

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