Ben Stokes rattled by comments on Bazball failure in India

England’s cricket team captain, Ben Stokes, has found himself at odds with criticisms over England’s recent performance in India, particularly regarding their perceived lack of ruthlessness. The recent defeat in Ranchi at the hands of India, which sealed the series victory for the hosts, has intensified discussions around England’s approach in subcontinental conditions.

In the latest match, India secured a comprehensive five-wicket win over England in Ranchi, claiming the series 3-1. Despite England’s initial triumph in the series opener, India’s dominant display throughout the subsequent matches has led to scrutiny of England’s tactics and mindset.

Everyone goes into the game with their best intentions: Ben Stokes

Stokes, visibly upset by England’s performance, defended his team’s efforts during a post-match press conference. He questioned the interpretation of ruthlessness, emphasized that every player enters the game with the intent to win, and labeled remarks on the team’s supposed lack of ruthlessness.

“Ruthlessness? What is it? How does it show itself? Everyone goes into the game with their best intentions; when it doesn’t pay off, people say we’re not ruthless. When it does, they say we are. I don’t really understand it. That’s from my point of view; we try to do what we think is the best way to win a game. It can be a throwaway comment when people say we’re not ruthless enough. What does it mean?” Stokes said when he was asked during the press conference if England lacked ruthlessness in Ranchi.

Despite the series loss, Stokes remained optimistic, highlighting England’s recent successes under his leadership, including victories against New Zealand, South Africa, and Pakistan. He emphasized the team’s focus on continuous improvement and their eagerness to compete in the upcoming series.

“We want to win every game we play and win every series. This is the first we have lost, but we will be involved in plenty more series going forward. It’s always disappointing being on the losing team. Looking back at when we had our chance to bat yesterday, cricket is always skill against skill,” Stokes added.

The visitors will now face India in Dharamshala, for the last and final Test match scheduled to commence on March 7. Stokes and his team will look to end the series on a high. England is currently in eighth position in the World Test Championship table and the final test holds a lot of significance going ahead in the tournament.