Ben Stokes is ‘incredibly proud’ of his team despite England’s series defeat in India | England cricket team

Ben Stokes insisted he was proud of the way his England players threw everything at India despite their third straight defeat, which resulted in their first series defeat since he took over as captain two years ago.

Defending 192 on the fourth day in Ranchi, hopes of setting up a potential fifth Test decider in Dharamsala next week grew when Shoaib Bashir’s two wickets in two balls after lunch reduced the largely shotless hosts to 120 for five. But Shubman Gill, who was on 52 not out, and Dhruv Jurel, unbeaten on 39, had ice in their veins after that, chiseling out a chanceless 72-run partnership and ending the game on a high note, ending the game with took five wickets and gave India an unassailable 3-pointer. 1 lead with one to play with.

Stokes said: “Three-one doesn’t look good but the way we performed in India is what I’m most proud of. Coming to India is something completely different, something this team has not experienced (so far). The way we responded to everything, even being on the wrong end of three results, is something I’m incredibly proud of.

“(There was an opinion that) we had no chance at all of keeping up with India but even today it wasn’t an easy win and I think they would admit that. I am very proud of how every player gave everything to India. Nobody has taken a step backwards.

“Of course we want to win every game and every series. But many topics of discussion only come after the fact. I have come to terms with that, the team has come to terms with that. The way we play is pretty simple. You can do everything with the click of a finger, so why not enjoy every opportunity to play?”

There was an admission from Stokes that his side simply had no answer to India’s spinners on the crucial third day, Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav sharing nine scalps as England lost their last seven wickets for 35 to score a total of 145. The pair exploited a capricious surface to deadly effect, although Stokes had nothing but praise for the pitches prepared for all four Test matches.

There was much praise for England’s aggressive approach, but in his opinion it had become obsolete in Ranchi because the quality of the attack they had to contend with was so great. Stokes said: “The conditions we faced (Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep) were very challenging. If India backs down in such conditions, it will be difficult for any team to not only keep the scoreboard ticking but also rotate the attack.

Joe Root (top left) catches India’s Sarfaraz Khan off the bowling of the impressive Tom Hartley (bottom left). Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

“You have to give them credit for the way they bowled at that crucial stage. They sensed an opportunity to put pressure on us; This time was the game. It was almost impossible to work the way we wanted.”

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While Stokes said England had discovered two future talents in Bashir and Tom Hartley who will “finish this tour with their heads held high” after sharing 12 wickets in this Test, his counterpart, Rohit Sharma, had India’s unbeaten record at home expanded to 15 series (17 including one-off test matches).

Sharma, who scored 55 in the run chase and drew a nod of approval from Stokes with an audacious six off Jimmy Anderson on Monday, said: “We knew it would be a challenging series and England would play different cricket to others.” come here. They had success with that, but we were put together as a batting and bowling unit.”

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