Stokes proud of England commitment, Rohit hails Jurel

February 27, 2024

RANCHI, India: Ben Stokes was proud of his team’s commitment despite suffering his first series defeat since taking over as England Test captain against India, the 32-year-old said on Monday.

English cricketer Ben Stokes can be seen in this image. — AFP/File

India, who have not lost a Test series on home soil since 2012, grabbed an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series following their five-wicket victory in Ranchi. England’s second-innings collapse left India needing 192 to win but it was no cakewalk for the hosts who slumped to 120-5.

Off-spinner Shoaib Bashir (3-79) led England’s spirited fightback but India could not be denied their third successive victory. “I think it was a great test match. The scoreline says India win by five wickets but I don’t think that gives enough credit to sum up the game as a whole,” Stokes said at the presentation ceremony.

“I’ve been doing this for two years now and my message is always consistent -- it’s about your input to the team and don’t worry too much about the output. “Everyone has thrown everything into every test match here, nothing has been left out on the field and that’s all I will ever ask from them.”

England won the opening Test in Hyderabad and were competitive in the second in Visakhapatnam as well as in Ranchi. With Jack Leach suffering a tour-ending knee injury in Hyderabad, England fielded an inexperienced spin attack that included Bashir and Tom Hartley both of whom made their Test debut in this series.

“That’s the way I am as a captain - allowing these guys to come into what could be a very intimidating situation against India in a Test match, to treat every ball as on occasion rather than thinking something in the past that can’t be changed,” Stokes said.

“The series has shown a lot of talent, for us and India. I love test cricket and we’ve seen some young, inexperienced players perform and the future looks bright in this format.”