Hardest sequence as batsman however Stokes ‘annoyed’ at throwing it away

Ahmedabad, March 4

Ben Stokes couldn’t hide his “disappointment” at frittering away a good start as he had defended well for almost two and half hours during the “hardest conditions” that he has ever batted in his 70-odd Test matches.

Stokes scored 55 off 121 balls before a skidder from Washington Sundar trapped him leg before on the opening day of the final Test against India.

“I am more disappointed that I actually get myself in and get out. Fifty is not really a (score) that will win you a Test match,” Stokes said after day’s play.

Also read: India lose Gill after bowling out England for 205 on Day 1 of fourth Test

“I was very disappointed to getting on that wicket, start feeling comfortable and then get out in the way I did, especially because I spent two and a half hours protecting myself from the ball that skids on and getting out to the ball that skids on. So, I was very frustrated with myself,” said the all-rounder.

The “frustration” is at knowing which one was the danger delivery and still falling prey to it.

“Very frustrated… After spending two and half hours, you know, playing so well, trying to avoid getting out to a straight ball and I ended up getting out to (it), that is frustrating,” said the 29-year-old Christchurch-born left-handed batsman. 

Stokes was also disappointed with the team’s overall batting performance.

Also read: Enjoyed Root’s dismissal as I set him up with away going deliveries: Siraj

“I think we are disappointed with the batting. I think we are more than capable of scoring, so yeah frustrating but was nice to get a wicket at the end of the day,” Stokes said referring to Shubman Gill’s dismissal.

Stokes had no hesitation in admitting that these are the “hardest conditons” to bat on.

“Yeah, I have played 70 odd games now and I have told others in the team that this is the hardest conditions I have ever faced as a batsman and I have played all around the world.

“It is a case of finding your own way. It is not about coming together as a group and saying this is what we need to do next. It is about how can we go away as individuals and when we come back here next time, have we progressed as an individual and a group of batsmen, because everyone plays in a different way.”

Also read: Stokes was swearing at me, Virat bhai handled that well: Siraj

Ravichandran Ashwin has made Stokes his bunny having dismissed the left-hander many times, and Stokes said that the India off-spinner was fantastic bowler but refused to read too much into it.

“You come to India, you are going to face a lot of Ashwin. So he has got more chance of getting me out, but I don’t read into the fact that he has got me out that many times.

“It is what it is, someone is there to get you out and that is probably what I have got on that matter. He (Ashwin) is a fantastic bowler, obviously, but it is his job to get batsmen out,” he said.

There was a lot of debate surrounding the pitch that was used in the third Test played here, which ended in two days, but according to Stokes the wicket for the current Test was much better than the previous game.

“Overall, it is a much better wicket than it was the last game played here, so yeah, we are just disappointed,” he noted.

India need to either draw or win the match to find a place in the World Test Championships final in June, while a win for England would revive some of the lost confidence after the getting thrashed inside two days in the third Test. The hosts are 2-1 up in the four-match series. PTI

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