“We Put India Under Pressure…”: Ben Stokes Declares After England’s Loss In 2nd Test

Feb 5, 2024

England skipper Ben Stokes on Monday said he had full belief in his batters’ ability to chase a near-impossible 399 against India on a difficult track in the lost second Test in Visakhapatnam because “scoreboard pressure” usually got the best out of them. England lost by 106 runs but did not abandon their ultra-aggressive ‘Bazball’ approach during the chase. However, barring Zak Crawley (73), the visiting batters could not convert their starts into big scores.

“We had full belief in ourselves that we could chase that down. The way we have gone about taking on challenges like that is what we are about,” Stokes said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“In moments like that, when you have scoreboard pressure, that is when we get the best out of ourselves as individuals,” he added.

Stokes was very satisfied with the way his team applied itself through the match and he had no advice to give his batters about their approach.

“The way we applied ourselves and put India under pressure was great, unfortunately we didn’t end up on the right side of the result. There is no suggestion [from me] on how to go out and play.

“We knew there is a task ahead, knew there was 330 (332) to get, everybody in that dressing room is a quality player.” He lauded his inexperienced spin troika of Rehan Ahmed, debutant Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley, saying they looked ready for international cricket.

“It wasn’t a challenge (to captain them). I absolutely loved (it). To look at Tom, Bash and Rehan with three matches between them and watch them put in the performance yesterday was great.

“They showed a lot of maturity, a lot of skill,” he said.

He also applauded his veteran pace spearhead James Anderson, who grabbed five wickets in the match, and Indian star Jasprit Bumrah (9 wickets in match) for managing to make an impact on the sporting track. Bumrah was adjudged man of the match for his performance.

“They showed a lot of maturity, a lot of skill. (Anderson) Jimmy is amazing. You look at Jimmy, and Jasprit Bumrah, two great fast bowlers. Even when you are in the opposition, you put your hand up (for Bumrah). Jimmy is that player for us,” he said. 

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