Ben Stokes hits back at Harmison's remarks of England losing 5-0 against India
A close friend of Stokes, former pacer Harmison questioned England's decision to travel to India just three days prior to the start of the five-match Test series.
He believes that the absence of acclimatisation may prove to be a surefire recipe for trouble. He added that England might "deserve to get beaten 5-0" in the future.
"It's a good thing we're going to Abu Dhabi for a training camp before we go to India for even more training before that first Test then," Stokes said in response to a video of Harmison's remarks, as reported by Sky Sports.
Harmison suggested that England's approach regarding their Test series against India was insufficient while telling talkSPORT as quoted from Sky Sports, "If England go in three days before, they deserve to get beat 5-0, they really do."
"I'm an old man, that's what they'll say. Times have changed, but preparation hasn't changed. I love this new approach, I love Ben Stokes and [head coach] Brendon McCullum. But I'm sorry, going three days before... You'd never do that for an Ashes series. You'd never go to Australia three days before the Gabba, so why go three days before Hyderabad? For me it stinks, it absolutely stinks," Harmison added.
England would be keen to turn their fortunes around in 2024 as last time they lost 3-1 on Indian soil.
Meanwhile, Stokes is in a race against time to get fit for the series. The experienced all-rounder had recently come out of ODI retirement to participate in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, where he played as a specialist batter. His issues with his knee have prevented him from playing his role as an all-rounder effectively as he has rarely bowled as of late.
He went for knee surgery after the World Cup which was successful and now it is time for him to undergo rehabilitation.