We will continue the way we play, asserts Stokes

Leeds, Jul 10 (PTI) England will “play cricket that gets a result, our way”, said their inspirational captain Ben Stokes, strengthening the team’s commitment to stick to the hotly-debated ‘Bazball’ approach.

England beat Australia by three wickets to win the third Test at Headingley on Sunday and cut the deficit to 1-2 in the five-match Ashes series, having lost the first two games.

“We’ve kept the series alive and we just have to park everything from this week, but continue the way we play,” Stokes said.

“I said last week we find ourselves in the perfect position with the way we play cricket.

“It doesn’t change. After the Lord’s game and before this game, before the game in Manchester, we just have to do exactly the same thing: play cricket that gets a result, our way.” Stokes was happy with England’s approach here, but insisted his teams needs to improve.

“I still think we can be better. The thing about cricket is no-one has the perfect answer to everything. Everything will be assessed on the outcome. That will always be the case. No-one ever has the perfect answer for how it should be played.

“We can be better in certain areas, and that’s all we can do, keep trying to be better and better and as clear as we possibly can as a team. People always seem to have an answer after the fact. I don’t think anyone will ever crack it; that’s why it’s such a great game.” The famous rivalry will resume with the fourth Test at Old Trafford on July 19.

After suffering heartbreaks at Edgbaston and Lord’s, Stokes said his team was “over the moon” following the win in another “down-to-the wire game”.

“If you look at the first two games in terms of how tight they were, getting over the line in another tight game can mentally help… knowing that it’s another close game but we’ve got over the line in this one.

“The first two didn’t go our way. If you flip it round and we didn’t win this one and it’s tight again, you would think it’s just not meant to be.

“We’re obviously over the moon that we won this one but it’s just the start of what we know we need to do.” The English captain also heaped praise on the fast-bowling duo of Chris Woakes and Mark Wood as well as seasoned spinner Moeen Ali, who were brought into the side for the third Test.

“We brought Woody and Woakes back in and it’s great when decisions like that impact the game. That’s what we look at, what impact can players have and how can we use them. All three of those guys did that this week.” Woakes, who hadn’t played a Test since March 2022, grabbed six wickets in the third Test before making a contribution with the bat in a tense run-chase in the fourth innings, finishing unbeaten on 32.

“I didn’t even look at the fact that it’s been so long since he (Chris Woakes) had played red-ball,” Stokes said.

“He’s a quality performer. He’s Mr Consistent. Having someone who can bat like that at No. 8 is a massive help, and when the ball’s doing a bit in the air or off the pitch he’s massively in the game.” Wood impressed with his pace and returned a five-for, besides doing his bit with the bat lower down the order.

“When you’ve got someone who can come in and bowl 95mph, it’s a massive help,” the English captain said.

“It impacts the game, whether he’s taking wickets at one end or they come at the other. Great to see him smiling, running in and bowling rockets. And with the bat, he’s a free spirit, and very clear in his mind.

“He walked out knowing how he wanted to take the game on, doesn’t always come off but it gives you a better chance,” Stokes said.

Source: PTI News


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