England’s Ben Foakes aims to help ‘replicate’ Test win against India in Chennai

Ben Foakes says watching England’s majestic performance in Chennai at first hand has fuelled his desire to be part of a Test series victory over India.

Wicketkeeper Foakes is set to resume his international career after more than two years when he takes over the gloves from Jos Buttler for the second Test in the four-match series, beginning on Saturday.

England crushed the hosts by 227 runs to take a 1-0 lead and Foakes, who is expected to win his sixth Test cap when the teams return to Chennai, is aiming to ride the crest of that wave.

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“It’s a bit of excitement, bit of nerves, bit of everything at the moment,” he said. “You obviously want to come in when the side’s going well and have that momentum.

“It has just been so impressive to watch how well the guys have played and it’s probably a good thing to come into a side like that.

“Winning in India’s pretty special, so when you come in you want to try and replicate that and help in any way possible.

“It gives extra motivation to the lads to be 1-0 up and try and press for 2-0, then obviously you’re in fantastic position in the series.”

Foakes, who will celebrate his 28th birthday during the Chennai Test, made an immediate impact when he was first handed an England opportunity on the tour of Sri Lanka in November 2018.

As well as hitting 107 on his debut at Galle, Foakes added an unbeaten half-century in the next Test and finished the series with 10 dismissals, including two stumpings, as England completed a 3-0 series whitewash.

But he was dropped after averaging under 14 with the bat in the first two Tests against West Indies that followed later that winter, initially surrendering the gloves to Jonny Bairstow before Buttler established himself in the red-ball side.

“It was a fantastic time in my career that I thoroughly enjoyed, but for me this is a new challenge and a completely different one,” Foakes reflected. “I’m not really associating that performance (in Sri Lanka) with this.

“I haven’t played as much as I’d like over the last couple of years and, without playing too much cricket, you always have that slight doubt about where your game is at because you haven’t been tested in a while.

“But I’d like to think I’ve been training well and hopefully I’ll be able to find my rhythm quite quickly.

“From a personal point of view, you just want to perform in both aspects of the game and I guess I put a little bit of pressure on myself to try and do well.”

With Buttler returning home for the remainder of the series as part of a planned rest period, Foakes will be one of at least two changes to England’s line-up for the second Test.

The tourists will have to reshuffle their seam attack, with Jofra Archer ruled out by an elbow injury and Stuart Broad likely to play, while off-spinner Moeen Ali could also come into the reckoning.

“I’ve faced Moeen a fair bit (in practice) and he has been bowling beautifully, then I’ve faced Stu over the last week and he was getting a good pace, so he looks in a good position as well,” Foakes added.

“The wicket looks different to the last one, with darker soil so I think it might be quite low and slow. The last wicket did play quite well for three days, maybe slightly longer.

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