The flamboyant English all-rounder, Ben Stokes has revealed that he and his teammates had gone through weight loss during the fourth and final Test against India in Ahmedabad after a stomach illness hit the tourists ahead of the game. England had suffered a 1-3 series loss after going down in the final match by an innings and 25 runs last week.
During a recent chat with UK’s Daily Mirror, Ben Stokes said, “Players are totally committed to England and I think that was emphasized last week when a few of us went down with an illness that made operating in 41-degree heat particularly taxing. I lost 5kg in a week, Dom Sibley 4kg, and Jimmy Anderson 3kg among others. Jack Leach was ducking off the field in between bowling spells and spending more time than is ideal in the toilet.”
Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar played match-winning knocks of 101 and 96 respectively to guide India to 365 in their first innings. The hosts then returned to bundled out the visiting team for a meager score of 135 to win the match.
Talking about the same, Stokes said, “This is in no way an excuse because everyone was ready to play, and India and Rishabh Pant especially produced a terrific performance, but I take off my hat to the effort that was put in by players who gave everything they had to try and win for England.”
The England team drew a lot of flak from former players following their performance in the Test series but Stokes said it is important to shut that out to focus on improving the game. He also asserted that a loss like this can dent the confidence of the youngsters in the team.
Elaborating the same, Stokes said, “For a lot of guys this was their first tour of India and it has been a steep learning curve, but that is part and parcel of being a cricketer at this level. The next test is how you react to those moments.I have been through times like this in my career and your confidence can take a knock from a tour like this … you have to use the disappointment in the best way you can to motivate you to improve.”
England will next play India in a five-match T20 series beginning on March 12.