Ben Stokes, after losing his first series as England captain to India by five wickets in Ranchi, expressed pride in his team’s fighting spirit throughout the series.

England suffered their inaugural series defeat under Ben Stokes’ leadership as India clinched a five-wicket victory in the fourth Test in Ranchi. Despite India’s challenging target of 192 in the final innings, England’s bowling initially put pressure on the hosts, reducing them to 120/5. However, Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel’s unbeaten partnership of 72 runs guided India to victory.

Stokes commended his team’s resilience throughout the series, acknowledging their slim chances against India but emphasizing their commendable effort, particularly in the fourth Test.

“3-1 doesn’t look great, but the way in which we’ve come at India is what I’m most proud of. We didn’t have a chance in hell of even competing with India. But even today (Monday), that wasn’t an easy win for India, and I think they would admit that,” Stokes told English media.

“This young, inexperienced team has been successful over the past two years, but coming to India is a completely different beast, something that this team hasn’t been exposed to. The way in which we have reacted to everything, even being on the wrong end of three results, is something I’m incredibly proud of. I’m very proud of the way every player has thrown everything at India. No one has ever taken a backward step,” he added.

Before arriving in India, England enjoyed a remarkable record, winning 14 out of 18 matches. Despite a strong start with a victory in the first Test in Hyderabad, where they overturned a 190-run deficit to win by 28 runs, England couldn’t maintain their momentum, losing the next three Tests.

Looking ahead, England aims to salvage pride in the fifth Test in Dharamshala, commencing on March 7, 2024, eager to conclude the series on a positive note.

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Last Updated on February 27, 2024

Senior Sports Copywriter