From the first ball, Stokes was in my ear: Blackwood | The Daily Star
12:13 PM, July 15, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:16 PM, July 15, 2020

From the first ball, Stokes was in my ear: Blackwood

West Indies batsman Jermain Blackwood, who struck a resilient 95 in the first Test against England during a difficult chase, revealed that he was on the receiving end of sledging from English players.

"From the first ball the captain Ben Stokes was in my ear," Blackwood said. "I think they were trying to get me to play a rash shot but it didn't faze me at any point. Once I was at the crease they were the ones under pressure, not me.

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"They knew they couldn't bowl a loose ball at me. I can't remember what was said but it was nothing bad. That's cricket. You'll always hear a bit of talking and that's how it should be played."

England bowlers and fielders were charged up on the final day of the Test and reduced Windies to 27 for three before Blackwood's partnerships with Roston Chase and Shane Downrich revived the tourists' hopes.  Edgy at the beginning, he showed composure and positivity in equal terms.

Coach Phil Simmons lauded Blackwood for showing composure through the tricky period. "I didn't realise England were doing that but it's what I would have done too to try to get him [ Blackwood ] irrational," Simmons said.

"But he held his own and played the situation as well as he could. That shows his mindset is improving."

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