Got to give so much credit to Bashir and Hartley; future looks bright: Stokes

by IANS |

Ranchi, Feb 26 (IANS After England’s five-wicket loss to India in the fourth Test, skipper Ben Stokes was not that happy, but was glad over the performances put up by young spinners Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley, adding that the future looks bright.

At the JSCA International Stadium on Monday, England struck to trigger India’s slide from 84/0 to 120/5. But a stubborn 72-run stand between Shubman Gill (55 not out) and Dhruv Jurel (39 not out) helped India get over the line to win the match and series. Bashir’s match haul was of eight wickets, including taking five in the first innings.

"I think it was a great Test match. The scoreline says India win by five wickets but I don't think that gives enough credit to sum up the game as a whole. There were so many ebbs and flows, and I've got to give so much credit to our spinners Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir for how they performed not only today, but during the whole Test match.

"Being exposed like that, at such an early stage of their careers, it's incredible I couldn't be more proud of them in particular but also the whole team for the performances this week," said Stokes after the match ended.

Stokes was also pleased with how youngsters from both teams were stepping up in the ongoing Test series. "That's the way I am as a captain - allowing these guys to come into what could be a very intimidating situation against India in a Test match, to treat every ball as on occasion rather than thinking something in the past that can't be changed.

"The series has shown a lot of talent, for us and India. I love Test cricket and we've seen some young, inexperienced players perform and the future looks bright in this format."

The English skipper also admitted that England had a tough time when batting on day three, where they were bowled out for just 145 in their second innings, when Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja dominated with the ball. "We've been very good in periods. Yesterday, that was incredibly hard when we were batting - in those conditions against Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep, scoring becomes very difficult.

"We didn't think the pitch was going to get any better and we saw that today but they bowled extremely well. It was a tough period for us. You come into series, and you want to win them. I've been doing this for two years now and my message is always consistent.

"It's about your input to the team and don't worry too much about the output. Everyone has thrown everything into every Test match here, nothing has been left out on the field and that's all I will ever ask from them," said Stokes.

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