Defiant Ben Stokes says England still have ‘great chance’ to win series in India

Captain Ben Stokes said England still have a “great chance” to win the Test series against India despite their crushing 434-run defeat in Rajkot.

England collapsed to their heaviest Test defeat in terms of runs since the Second World War to go 2-1 down in the five-match series.

Another blockbuster double century from Yashasvi Jaiswal set England a world record target of 557 to win the third Test.

Jaiswal, who made 209 in Visakhapatnam last time out, equalled the record for the most sixes in an innings with a dozen in his unbeaten 214 to underpin India’s 430 for four declared.

England never threatened to achieve the unthinkable as India’s attack – latterly bolstered by the return of Ravichandran Ashwin following his departure due to a family medical emergency – tore through the tourists’ beleaguered line-up.

“It doesn’t always work out how you want, but we still have a great chance to win the trophy 3-2,” Stokes told TNT Sports.

“We leave this game behind us, just as we did with the first two matches, and we know we have to win the next two games to take the series.”

Ravindra Jadeja led the way with five for 41 as Stokes’ side were skittled in 39.4 overs.

Ravindra Jadeja, second left, led India's charge to victory
Ravindra Jadeja, second left, led India’s charge to victory with five wickets (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

“Everyone has a perception and an opinion about things but the opinions of the people in the dressing room are the only one that matters to us,” the England skipper continued.

“We know that things don’t always work out how you want them to.

“Ben Duckett (153) played an unbelievable first innings and that was the tone we wanted to set throughout and it was about identifying that opportunity to push the scoreboard on and get as close as we could do to India’s total.

“I wanted us to be bowling yesterday, even though it came earlier than we expected, because of how we felt the wicket was going. We wanted to push the game on as much as we possibly could, but sometimes gameplans don’t work out and that is sport sometimes.”

In a subsequent on-pitch interview with former England spinner Graeme Swann on TNT Sports, Stokes added: “Of course, I am very disappointed to be on the wrong side of a result but the one thing we are very good at as a team is leaving it behind us and focusing on what is ahead.

“Games can be won and loss in the head so we will be leaving all the disappointment and emotion from this week and moving on to the next one.”

Stokes also hinted he could decide to bowl in the final two Tests. Stokes had previously said he would focus only on batting following an operation on his left knee last November.

“I am not going to lie, I feel really good and I managed to get my first ball down at one hundred per cent on day one or day two here,” he added.

“Me as person, I like to jump the gun a bit too much. Things are feeling really good but I have a whole body to get back bowling again. I am not saying ‘no’ but I am not saying yes either.”

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