03 Feb 2021: India vs England: Decoding Ben Stokes' performance against R Ashwin
The first India-England Test is set to commence in Chennai on February 5.
This will be the first Test series for England in India after 2016/17.
Just like that tour, the Joe Root-led England side will be duly tested by the spinners.
Notably, senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin poses a certain threat to star all-rounder Ben Stokes.
We analyze Stokes' performance against Ashwin.
Battle: Stokes vs Ashwin: A look at the battle
The number one Test all-rounder, Stokes, has aggregated 4,428 runs from 67 matches at an average of 37.85.
On the other hand, Ashwin owns 377 wickets in 74 matches, including a best match haul of 13/140.
So far, Stokes has amassed 150 runs off 384 balls by Ashwin, while Ashwin has dismissed him seven times.
This illustrates that Ashwin has the edge over Stokes.
Fact: Ashwin dismissed Stokes five times in 2016/17
It is interesting to note that Ashwin got rid of Stokes as many as five times in the 2016/17 series. The former dismissed him in the second, third, fourth, and fifth Test. Stokes was trapped lbw twice, and caught as many as three times.
Reverse: Stokes has dismissed Ashwin twice in Test cricket
In India, Ashwin usually gets a promotion in the batting order.
He is a dependable lower-order batsman, who has tallied 2,467 runs, including four tons over the years.
Meanwhile, Stokes is also a veteran of 158 wickets with career-best figures of 8/161.
Ashwin has managed to score 43 runs off 76 balls against Stokes, while the latter has dismissed him twice.
1st Test: India vs England, first Test: What to expect?
After the latest turn of events, England will have to win at least three Tests in order to qualify for the WTC.
Their first target is to endure the long spells by spinners on Chennai's rank-turner.
Notably, Stokes carries the propensity to play marathon knocks, as he did on several occasions last year.
However, he will be vulnerable, considering Ashwin's amazing track-record at Chepauk.