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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Sonia Twigg

England vs Pakistan: Talking points after Ben Stokes’ side complete historic series win


England continued their impressive Test form with a series whitewash in Pakistan.

Skipper Ben Stokes and Ben Duckett led the tourists home to secure an eight-wicket win in the third Test.

Here we look at five things we learned from the series.

Team bonding

England were confined to hotels, like they were during the Covid-19 era, but in Pakistan it was due to security reasons. However, it brought them closer together, with numerous members of the group expressing how happy they were. Even James Anderson, who has been a stalwart of the Test side for almost two decades, declared it the happiest camp he had been a part of.

‘Bazball’ travels overseas

Even though England enjoyed a successful summer with captain Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum at the helm, many questioned whether the attacking approach would succeed in other parts of the world. They silenced the doubters with complete dominance and a stunning series success.

Risk-taking captaincy

England took risks throughout the series, but were rewarded for them, especially with Stokes’ daring declaration in Rawalpindi. Pakistan were set 343 to win and England dismissed them just as the sun was disappearing behind the stands to claim a thrilling victory.

Confidence and belief

After just one win in 17 Tests after the tour of the West Indies had finished in March, England’s confidence was at an all-time low, with players left fearing for their Test futures. However, Stokes and McCullum’s focus on entertainment and enjoyment as well as creating a relaxed atmosphere and reiterating messages designed to relieve pressure has led to a team full of confidence and self belief.

Bowling options

England showed the strength of their bowling attack throughout the series. Spinner Jack Leach led the way with 15 wickets, while the seam attack also starred as Ollie Robinson snared nine victims and Anderson and Mark Wood claimed eight. Even 18-year-old Rehan Ahmed came in and shone on his debut with a maiden five-wicket haul in the final match of the series. With Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer waiting in the wings, England are shaping up well ahead of the Ashes in the summer.

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