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Other SportsStokes proud of ailing England for sticking to 'Bazball' principles

Stokes proud of ailing England for sticking to ‘Bazball’ principles

Ben Stokes was proud of England for continuing to play on their own terms despite their defeat in the second Test in India, revealing several members of the touring party were unwell on day four.

Following England’s dramatic victory in the opener in Hyderabad, India hit back to level the series at 1-1 by sealing a 106-run success on day four in Visakhapatnam.

Zak Crawley’s knock of 78 got England off to a solid start as they chased an improbable target of 399 for victory, but it ultimately wasn’t to be for the tourists as Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin starred for India.

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Bumrah finished with figures of 3-46 as he dismantled the middle and lower order, preventing England from teeing up another nail-biting finish.

While captain Stokes was disappointed to finish on the losing side, he praised England for continuing to play the hyper-aggressive brand of cricket preached by head coach Brendon McCullum.

“We have so much belief in our ability, that it filters off to the people who support us,” Stokes told BBC Sport after the defeat.

“Two or three years ago, if that was the task we had, I don’t think many would have thought we had a chance.

“Obviously it’s disappointing to lose, we always want to come out here and win, but the way we approached it is exactly what we are looking for.

“Everyone says, ‘What is Bazball?’ It’s our mentality, our way of playing.

“The fact that you can never look out on the field and think we are behind in the game, even if we are… that’s a huge testament to the players.”

While Stokes was keen to avoid making excuses for England’s failure to complete the chase, he revealed several members of the squad struggled with illness on the fourth day of the second Test.

“A couple woke up this morning not feeling great, and when everyone had the same symptoms, you know there is something going around,” Stokes said.

“It’s not an excuse for the result, because it’s a game full of ifs, buts and maybes.

“I’m proud the guys who were feeling under the weather didn’t shy away from anything they needed to do and gave it their best.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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