Ashes 2023: This is what Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen had to say about Ben Stokes’ bold declaration

Ashes 2023: Former England captains Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen have stirred the cricketing world with their blunt criticism of Ben Stokes’ decision to declare on Day 1 of the Ashes 2023 opening Test. This surprising move took place at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Friday, June 16, leaving many in the cricket community puzzled. England adhered to their bold ‘Bazball’ strategy, with Stokes taking the decision to declare at 393/8 while centurion Joe Root was still batting. Root crafted a masterful, unbeaten 118 off 152 balls, marking his 30th century in the longest format of the game.

Speaking on the BBC Test Match Special, Vaughan voiced his disapproval. He stated, “I wouldn’t have declared. You just don’t know what is going to happen. England are trying to send a message no team has ever done before.” Vaughan added, “I, as a captain, would’ve wanted a few more runs, especially with Joe Root out there.”

Vaughan’s critique wasn’t just about the declaration. He further commented on the energetic run between the wickets by Warner and Khawaja, expressing, “Even though England didn’t get the wicket, it creates what the Ashes is all about — Warner and Khawaja, two experienced pros, were running like kids.”

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Ashes 2023: Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan react to Ben Stokes’ bold declaration

Kevin Pietersen, known for his fiery opinions, echoed Vaughan’s sentiment while speaking to Sky Sports. “I don’t think that’s the nature of his captaincy (in and out fields from Stokes),” Pietersen said. He was hesitant to commit to a definite judgement, stating, “It’s difficult to answer because we did not see much in it this evening.”

Pietersen reflected on his own experiences, referencing a Test match against India. He observed that the wicket had improved for batting as the match progressed and predicted that the following day might witness excellent batting conditions. Pietersen declared, “That’s why I am… I didn’t like the declaration.”

Despite the criticism, Pietersen left room for the possibility that Stokes’ move might prove beneficial. He stated, “We will find out if it’s the right thing to have done. I always got told 400… get to 400, 450 in the first innings of a Test match. It’s psychological.” He admitted to perhaps being overly critical and left the final verdict open-ended, stating, “Maybe I am being too critical, I don’t know, we will see.”

In summary, the first day of the Ashes 2023 opening Test has given cricket enthusiasts plenty to talk about. Stokes’ unconventional declaration has sparked a heated debate in the cricketing world. Whether this audacious move pays off remains to be seen. As cricket lovers worldwide keep their eyes glued to the unfolding drama of the Ashes, the true worth of Stokes’ declaration will be unveiled on the pitch in the coming days.

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