Stokes resilient despite inaugural Test series defeat as captain


India won the fourth Test in Ranchi by five wickets on day four, securing a 3-1 lead in the five-match series. Stokes admitted, “On this occasion, their skill was better than ours,” when speaking to reporters.

Obviously we want to win every game we play, and win every series,” he added. “This is the first we have lost, but we will be involved in plenty more series going forward.

England won the first match, giving India their fourth home Test loss since 2013, but lost the next three games. Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, who took charge in 2022 with their attacking style known as “Bazball,” experienced their first series defeat.

You can have it all taken away from you at the click of a finger, so why not enjoy every opportunity you have to play?” he said.

“And make sure you are doing it with a smile on your face regardless of what is happening.

Playing in the series as a batsman due to knee surgery last year, 32-year-old Stokes participated in his 101st Test since debuting in 2013. In the series opener in Hyderabad, he scored 70, leading England to a 28-run win.

Facing challenging Indian conditions, Stokes introduced two new spinners, Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley. In the fourth Test, Bashir troubled India, taking eight wickets in the match.

However, England struggled with the bat, getting bowled out for 145 in their second innings in Ranchi. This set India a target of 192, with Indian spinners Ashwin and Yadav taking nine wickets, and Jadeja claiming one to dismiss England in 53.5 overs.

It was very obvious they sensed an opportunity to really put us under pressure,” said Stokes.

“When you’ve got three world-class spinners operating in conditions like that, you know you’re going to be up against it.

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