NZ vs ENG: Was Ben Stokes' Decision To Enforce Follow-On Justified?

image-lel570i3Stokes celebrating a wicket [Twitter]

England's assistant coach, Paul Collingwood insisted that Ben Stokes' decision to enforce follow-on was the right choice on day 3.

Going after England's 435, New Zealand succumbed under pressure and scored a mere 209 in their first innings. If it wasn't for a whirlwind knock of 73, the home team would have crumbled for a below-par total.

With a lead of 226, it was rather expected that England will come out to bat to put pressure on New Zealand, but to everyone's surprise, Stokes sent the home side back into bat, hoping to wrap things up on the third day itself. But the Black Caps showed resilience and put up a brave fightback to post 202 for 3 in their second innings at the end of day 3.

Talking about the declaration, assistant coach, Paul Collingwood stated that the discussion took place in the morning that if a chance comes up for enforcing the follow-on, they'll go with it.

“He was very clear on that and that’s the approach of Stokesy and Baz (McCullum, head coach). They want the aggressive option and hopefully to win the game today. It didn’t turn out that way but we’re still in a really good position."

“The mantra of this team is always to take the aggressive approach and there was no doubt in Stokesy’s mind that if we got the opportunity that was the way he was going to go. We’ve always said we’re not scared of losing but we want to get ourselves in a position of winning games and we felt we could have won, or got close to winning, today," Collingwood added.

New Zealand trail by 24, with Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls out in the middle. England will be looking to run through the New Zealand middle order at the start of day 4.