FILE - England’s Ben Stokes. Photo: ICC
FILE - England’s Ben Stokes. Photo: ICC

India series defeat would not change England, says Ben Stokes

By AFP Time of article published Mar 25, 2021

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PUNE – England will not change their aggressive style of play even if they lose the one day series against India, after their defeats in the Test and Twenty20 games, Ben Stokes insisted Thursday.

England must beat India in Pune on Friday to keep alive their hopes of winning the series. Defeat could see them lose their number one world ODI ranking to India.

"We would be bitterly disappointed to lose a series as we would with any other one," said Stokes, who was the hero of England's World Cup triumph in 2019.

"We deserve to be number one because of our results and the way we play our cricket and we won't go away from that."

No longer being number one would not be the end of the world, the star all-rounder said.

"Our driving force is the way we go about it and our attitude towards playing the game.

"That is what has made us be successful and the more successful we are then the more opportunities we have got to be at number one.

"So our driving force is making sure we stay true to ourselves and our belief in how we play the game – and that is something we will not change."

England were thrashed by 66 runs in the first game, adding to alarm bells after their 3-2 defeat in the T20s and 3-1 loss in the Tests.

"We know we are a much better team than that," said Stokes.

"We are bitterly disappointed but what we have been very good at is putting previous games to bed quickly whether we have had a successful game or a poor game, and all our concentration will be on tomorrow."

Stokes also said England would not be panicked into changing their batting lineup. He has played at number three for the one day games because of the absence of Joe Root.

"Just because we lost the T20 series doesn't mean we need to start changing things around.

"When we win nobody says too much but when we lose everyone starts to pipe up again. I am happy where everything is in our white ball team because that is our best formula to win."

England could be forced into changes on Friday because of injuries to Sam Billings and captain Eoin Morgan in the first game.

Billings hurt his shoulder in a heavy fall while fielding and Morgan needed stitches to split webbing between two fingers.

"Sam is a lot better than we initially thought," said Stokes, but the batsman was being "assessed".


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