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“We know we are a much better team” - Ben Stokes expects England fightback

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes
Modified 25 Mar 2021

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has expressed confidence that the visitors can fight back to level the three-match ODI series against India on Friday.

England went down by 66 runs in the first match of the series in Pune to concede the crucial 1-0 lead. The second one-dayer on Friday thus becomes a must-win game for them to stay alive in the series.

Speaking at a virtual press conference ahead of the second ODI, Ben Stokes admitted England did not perform to potential in the first match. He said:

“We are obviously disappointed with how things ended up after the last game. We know we are a much better team than that. What we have been very good at is putting previous games to bed quickly, whether we had a successful game or a poor game. So all our concentration now will be on tomorrow.”

After conceding 317 runs bowling first, England found themselves in a great position in the chase. Their openers Jason Roy (46) and Jonny Bairstow (94) added 135 for the first wicket in under 15 overs. However, once the pair was separated, England crumbled to 251 all out.

Debutant Indian pacer Prasidh Krishna claimed 4 for 54, while Shardul Thakur chipped in with 3 for 37. Earlier, India’s total of 317 for 5 was built around Shikhar Dhawan’s 98 and half-centuries from skipper Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and debutant Krunal Pandya.

Ben Stokes having a tough time with the bat

England’s premier all-rounder, Ben Stokes has not been able live up to his tag on the tour. He managed a couple of half-centuries in the Test matches. But barring the 46 in a losing cause in the fourth T20I, he hasn’t done much of note with the bat.

In the first ODI in Pune, he claimed 3 for 34 with the ball. When it was his turn to bat, though, he perished for 1.


It was the first time Ben Stokes had walked out to bat in an ODI since the 2019 World Cup final. Speaking about the same, Ben Stokes, who came in to bat at number three in the first match, said:

"It was my first game since the World Cup final, great to be back out there and play some ODI cricket. There's gonna be a talk about whoever is gonna fill that place at number three with (Joe) Root not being here. There is always gonna be a discussion about it but people keep talking and I'll just go out and try to do what I've been asked to do.”

The second one-dayer of the three-match series will be played on Friday.

Published 25 Mar 2021, 17:53 IST
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