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

‘We could have easily ditched them for 250’: England bowling coach Jon Lewis insists Ben Stokes took the ‘aggressive’ approach of batting New Zealand first, claiming ‘there was danger all day’

  • New Zealand finished day one of the second test in England with an excellent score
  • The tourists were thrown into the fray first, with Ben Stokes appearing to be ‘aggressive’
  • But bowling coach Jon Lewis admitted his side was ‘too short’ on their ambitions
  • However, he also stated that England could have beaten their rivals for 250

England bowling coach Jon Lewis insisted Ben Stokes had taken the aggressive option after choosing to bowl on a day that 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 came up just a little short of what we wanted. The important thing about the toss was that it was an aggressive move. We came out to try and play out New Zealand. Unfortunately we missed a few chances.

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

Ben Stokes chose the 'aggressive' option by bowling first, says England coach Jon Lewis

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

England conceded 43 fours and two sixes in 87 overs, often driving their bowlers through the covers as they aimed for full length and swing.

Lewis admitted: “At the moment we choose to take the aggressive option and be brave in what we do.”

But New Zealand No 3 Devon Conway said the tactic had helped the tourists on a day when the run rate was often four per over.

Lewis (right) insisted that Stokes' side tried to be 'brave' despite their struggle

Lewis (right) insisted that Stokes’ side tried to be ‘brave’ despite their struggle

“Even in the first Test we felt like they were throwing quite full,” he said. “By bowling that, it created scoring opportunities and we tried to put pressure on the bowlers again. They resorted to bowling short balls at us, which allowed us to score again.’

Conway said he was “appalled” that the umpires did not change the ball due to Covid protocols after it ended up in a spectator’s pint of cider following a straight six from Jack Leach’s Daryl Mitchell.

But he added: “It certainly didn’t swing that much, so Daryl played a smart shot.”

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