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Fully Believed We Could Chase Down 399: Stokes

England skipper Ben Stokes did not fault his team's approach in Visakhapatnam, sounding satisfied with how they put India under pressure. He added that he loved captaining the inexperienced spin trio of Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir and Rehan Ahmed in the second Test

Photo: AP/Manish Swarup
England captain Ben Stokes reacts during the post-match presentation after India won the second cricket Test match in Visakhapatnam. Photo: AP/Manish Swarup
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His team had just suffered a 106-run defeat, but England captain Ben Stokes did not shy away from saying that they believed they could chase down an improbable 399-run target in the second Test against India in Visakhapatnam. Throwing his weight behind the Bazball philosophy, Stokes said his side had reached where it was by taking on such challenges head-on. (More Cricket News)

"We had full belief in ourselves that we could chase that down. The way we have gone about taking on challenges like that is what we are about. In moments like that, when you have scoreboard pressure, that is when we get the best out of ourselves as individuals."

Stokes did not fault his team's approach, sounding satisfied with how the visitors put India under pressure. "The way we applied ourselves and put India under pressure was great, unfortunately we didn't end up on the right side of the result."

He added that he gave his batters the freedom to express themselves the way they wanted. "There is no suggestion from me on how to go out and play. We know there is a task ahead, we know there is 330 (odd) to get, everybody in that dressing room is a quality player."

Speaking about his inexperienced spin-bowling attack, Stokes said he "absolutely loved" captaining them. "To put in the performance they did yesterday was incredible. They showed a lot of maturity beyond the years. To look at Tom (Hartley), Bash (Shoaib Bashir) and Rehan (Ahmed) with three matches between them and watch them put in the performance yesterday was great."

The talismanic all-rounder also singled out veteran speedster James Anderson for praise. "Jimmy is amazing. You look at Jimmy, and Jasprit Bumrah, two great fast bowlers. Even when you are in the opposition, you put your hand up for Jasprit. Jimmy is that player for us."

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