An hour before lunch during a rain-curtailed third day of the Ashes, the Ben Stokes-led England`s playing XI devised a never-seen-before field strategy to rip apart Usman Khawaja`s unyielding resistance. The birth of the new term, namely the `Bumbrella` came to existence ever since. The strategy yielded a fruitful result as England managed a slim seven-run lead before merciless rain gods hingered their progress, leaving them reeling at 28 for 2 with a 35-run lead at the end of the day.
Khawaja was exceptional on the second day, neutralizing the opposition with some remarkable composure. Frustrated by his poteny, Stokes decided to embrace the unconventional and introduced the most peculiar field ever seen in the longest format of the game. Stokes had been experimenting with field placements, notably packing the leg-side for Pat Cummins earlier in the innings. This time, the 32-year-old concocted an intricate web of fielders on both the leg and off-sides, seemingly aimed at puzzling Khawaja rather than challenging his technical prowess.
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With Ollie Robinson being directed to probe wide lines, Stokes quickly and more cleverly altered the field setup, forming a crooked line of fielders on the on-side, challenging Khawaja`s ability to remain undistracted amid the unconventional setting on a cricket ground. The intention behind the `Brumbrella` setup was not to induce catches, but rather to coax Khawaja into making a rash stroke, disrupting his focus. After a few close calls, Khawaja in due course fell prey to the ploy, deceived by Robinson`s delivery and surrendering his wicket.
What later ensued went entirely in England`s favour, the tactic proved pivotal as Australia`s top-order collapsed, allowing the hosts an upper edge. Stokes continued to experiment with different field settings throughout the match, further showcasing his innovative approach to captaincy.
Believe it or not, the `Brumbrella` will go down as a unique chapter in Ashes` history, signifying the creativity that the game`s most intriguing moments has to offer.