Stokes proud as rampant England stick to their values

By Sports Desk March 26, 2021

Ben Stokes was proud that England stuck to their values as they roared back from a series-opening defeat to thrash India on Friday.

Moved up to bat at three in the absence of Joe Root, Stokes thrilled with a 52-ball 99 in Pune as the tourists won by six wickets with 39 deliveries to spare, Jonny Bairstow having scored a century as England comfortably chased down India's 336-6.

The result came on the heels of Tuesday's chastening 66-run loss, when England collapsed to 251 all out as Stokes scored just one run from 11 balls, and means the series will go to a decider on Sunday.

Stokes was delighted to see England produce such a classy response to that setback, even in the absence of injured captain Eoin Morgan, as his side stayed true to their attacking principles.

"I think the most pleasing thing for us as a team is we didn't go away from our values," he said, having built on the platform laid by Bairstow and Jason Roy's 110-run opening stand. "We were bitterly disappointed after the first ODI.

"It was a great chase and I'm happy we were able to go over the line fairly easily despite India putting up a big total.

"It was a better wicket but we don't really fear any totals to be honest. It would have been easy to rein ourselves in after the last game but from a personal and team point of view, it was important to play as we do.

"We speak about match-ups in our changing room and my match-up was with the spinners to take the risk, just let Jonny keep going on with his business. He's in unbelievable form.

"The amount of runs they [Roy and Bairstow] have scored is obviously amazing, but if you look at the way they have scored it's even better – best in the world in my opinion."

Pune will again play host to the third and final match this weekend.

England's victory on Friday also ensured that a 3-0 series defeat will be avoided, meaning India cannot leapfrog into top spot in the ODI rankings.

Related items

  • Williamson steps down as New Zealand white-ball captain Williamson steps down as New Zealand white-ball captain

    Kane Williamson has stepped down as New Zealand's captain in both ODIs and T20Is, while also declining a central contract.

    New Zealand endured a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign, exiting at the end of the group stage after losing their opening two games against Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea.

    Williamson played his 100th Test earlier this year, leading New Zealand in 40 of those, and has 165 ODI caps and 93 T20I caps.

    As captain, he led them to the World Test Championship title in 2021, and two finals in the ODI World Cup in 2019, and the T20 World Cup in 2021, both of which they lost.

    With the hopes of prolonging his international career, the 33-year-old explained his decision to decline the contract for 2024-25.

    "Helping push the team forward across the formats is something I'm very passionate about and something I want to keep contributing towards," Williamson said in a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) release.

    "However, pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I'm unable to accept a central contract offer."

    Ahead of last season, Williamson had given up his Test captaincy, with Tim Southee appointed as his successor.

    Despite not taking the offer of a central contract, he has not written off signing one in the future if the timing is right.

    "Playing for New Zealand is something I treasure, and my desire to give back to the team remains undiminished.

    "My life outside cricket has changed, however. Spending more time with my family and enjoying experiences with them at home or abroad is something that's even more important to me."

  • Foden vows his Bellingham partnership will improve after England criticism Foden vows his Bellingham partnership will improve after England criticism

    Phil Foden is confident his combination play with Jude Bellingham will improve after the Manchester City star's performance in England's Euro 2024 opener came in for criticism.

    While Real Madrid talisman Bellingham scored the winning goal against Serbia with a powerful early header and produced an inspirational display, the impact of Foden was more limited.

    Foden scored 27 goals and added 13 assists in a stunning club season for Premier League winners Man City, but he created just one chance in Sunday's 1-0 victory.

    The 24-year-old moved out to the left flank, making way to accommodate Bellingham playing centrally behind captain Harry Kane, with Bukayo Saka out on the right.

    As well as not making a creative impact, Foden also failed to register a single shot in an unusually quiet outing.

    But Foden is confident he and Bellingham will get the best out of each other despite calls for him to be dropped from Gareth Southgate's starting XI ahead of Wednesday’s second match against Denmark.

    "Jude is obviously an exceptional talent, he carries himself really well and I think he is turning into a leader," said Foden.

    "Our link up play is good at times. I think it is improving as well and can keep getting better.

    "He is an exciting talent and I enjoy playing with him."

    Foden acknowledged the Serbia match had provided an early test for England, but that was something he welcomed.

    He added: "The first game of a major tournament is always the most difficult – it is important to get off to a win and we did that.

    "It was difficult at times. Obviously, we had to defend at times and dig deep.

    "But I think that shows a different side to us and if we are going to win something I think that we have to do that."

    England, who were pre-tournament favourites, will be hoping to top Group C in order to avoid a potential last-16 tie against hosts Germany, who lead Group A. The winners of Group A will face the runners-up of Group C in Dortmund on June 29.

    After facing Denmark, England's group-stage campaign will conclude with a match against Slovenia on Tuesday.

  • Warner only one to receive 'flak' for ball-tampering, he believes Warner only one to receive 'flak' for ball-tampering, he believes

    David Warner believes he is the only one who has taken "a lot of flak" over Australia’s ball-tampering scandal in 2018.

    Warner and then-captain Steve Smith were banned from cricket for a year after being found guilty of using sandpaper to damage the ball during a Test match against South Africa.

    Cameron Bancroft, who carried out the act, was also suspended for nine months.

    Warner was ruled out of any leadership positions for Australia throughout the rest of his career after it was found that he orchestrated the plan, while Smith knew about it but failed to prevent it.

    The 37-year-old is set to retire from international cricket at the end of the T20 World Cup and admitted he was looking forward to not being reminded of the scandal when he does.

    "One can only absorb so much," Warner told Cricket Australia. "Coming back since 2018, I've probably been the only one that's ever copped a lot of flak.

    "I've always been that person who has copped it. It's great to go out knowing I'm not going to cop it anymore."

    Australia are currently competing for their second T20 World Cup title, previously winning the tournament in 2021, with Warner remaining a key part of the team after returning from his ban.

    While Warner admits he will probably always be associated with the ball-tampering scandal, he is hopeful his career will be viewed in a different light when he retires.

    "If they're real cricket tragics, and they love cricket, they will always see me as that cricketer - someone who tried to change the game," he added.

    "Someone who tried to follow in the footsteps of the openers before me, and try and score runs at a great tempo and change Test cricket."

    Australia face Bangladesh in the Super 8s of the T20 World Cup on Friday.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.