Ben Stokes reveals Ollie Pope, Tom Hartley and Ben Foakes battled illness on final day of second Test as England beaten by India; captain proud of side’s positive approach to record chase of 399, in which Zak Crawley top-scored with 73 before contentious lbw dismissal in Vizag
Image: England captain Ben Stokes says he was proud of his side's mentality during their defeat to India in the second Test
Ben Stokes felt England were victims of a “wrong” DRS call in the second Test against India but refused to blame that for his illness-hit side’s defeat in Vizag.
England were bowled out for 292 chasing a record 399 as India levelled the five-match series at 1-1, with opener Zak Crawley (73) the only member of the tourists’ batting line-up to pass 36.
Crawley fell lbw to India spinner Kuldeep Yadav just before lunch on day four, initially given not out on the field by umpire Marais Erasmus before DRS ruled in the bowler’s favour and suggested the ball was set to hit leg stump.
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Jonny Bairstow was dismissed in the next over as England slipped to 194-6, a position they never truly recovered from despite a 55-run, eighth-wicket partnership between Tom Hartley (36) and Ben Foakes (36).
Stokes revealed afterwards that Hartley, Foakes and Ollie Pope were battling illness, along with the injured Jack Leach, but refused to dwell on the “if, buts and maybes”.
‘Technology can never be 100 per cent’
The England skipper said of Crawley’s dismissal: “My personal opinion is that the technology has gone wrong on this occasion. That’s where I stand on it.
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“Technology in the game is obviously there and everyone has an understanding of the reasons it can never be 100 per cent. That’s why we have the ‘umpire’s call’, that’s why it’s in place.
“So when it’s not 100 per cent, I don’t think it’s unfair for someone to say ‘I think the technology has got it wrong’.
“I will say that, but in a game full of ifs, buts and maybes I am not going to say that’s the reason why we haven’t got the result we wanted.
“You can’t really do much with things that have been and gone. You can’t really overturn a decision that has been made.
“There’s also a bit of a virus going round, a couple of guys woke up not feeling great.
“It’s not ideal, you want everyone to be feeling great but I’m proud that the guys who were feeling under the weather didn’t shy away and gave it their best.”
Stokes: We stuck to our approach in run chase
The captain was also proud of England’s positive approach in their second innings, saying afterwards at the presentation and then to TNT Sports: “We had full belief in ourselves that we could go and chase  down.
“The way in which we go about taking on challenges like that is what we’re about.
“Moments like that, when you’ve got scoreboard pressure and a lot of runs to chase down, that’s where your process and the way in which we know we get the best out of ourselves as individuals really come out.
“I thought the way in which we applied ourselves and really tried to put India’s bowling attack under a lot of pressure was great.
“There’s no suggestion whatsoever about how to go out and play, it’s go out and play how you best feel at a given time.
“The big thing for us was asserting our authority very early, trying to not let India settle, making it as hard as possible for them.
“Chasing runs down in India is never easy, but we were actually able to go out there and stick to everything that we speak about.”
Dravid: Bazball is not wild slogging, it requires lots of ability
On England’s ‘Bazball’ philosophy, India head coach Rahul Dravid said: “I think they’re playing very well.
“I know Bazball is just a term, and I’m not sure how happy they are about it, but they are playing really good cricket. It’s not like wild slogging, they are actually showing some very good skills.
“Some of the shots they are playing require a lot of ability. You can’t just come here and execute those things by saying ‘I want to play attackingly’. I think there’s more to it than just attacking cricket.
“I have seen at times they know when to pull back and they know when to attack. They know how to find that balance and we know we’re up against a challenge that we’re looking forward to.”
Michael Atherton has his say on whether India are now favourites to win the Test series against England
England Test series in India 2024
- First Test, Hyderabad: England beat India by 28 runs
- Second Test, Vizag: India beat England by 106 runs
- Third Test – February 15-19 (Rajkot)
- Fourth Test – February 23-27 (Ranchi)
- Fifth Test – March 7-11 (Dharamshala)
Follow over-by-over text commentary from the third Test between India and England, in Rajkot, from Thursday February 15 live on skysports.com and the Sky Sports App (first ball at 4am).
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