England captain Ben Stokes has asserted that chasing big totals becomes a lot easier when teams have clarity of thought, which the current England setup has, according to him. The Englishmen created history on Tuesday, chasing down 378, their highest-ever total in Test cricket.
England resumed Day 5 in Birmingham on 259 for 3. Jonny Bairstow cracked his second hundred of the match while Joe Root also crossed three figures. Both remained unbeaten and featured in a 269-run fourth-wicket stand as England hammered India by seven wicket
Speaking after the match, a pleased Stokes reflected on the win and told Sky Sports, "It's down to the players, making my job easier. When you have clarity like we do in the dressing room it makes totals like that easier. 378 five weeks ago would have been scary, but it's all good.”
He added that England take the scoreboard out of the equation and just focus on the task on hand. He elaborated, "We take away the scoreboard and how many runs there are to chase, it's all about taking wickets. Sometimes teams will be better than us, but no one will be braver than us, according to Jack Leach…"
Losing captain Jasprit Bumrah admitted that England played better cricket in the second innings and hence won the contest. India had a lead of 257 with seven wickets in hand after Day 3, but could add only a further 120 runs in their second innings. The bowlers too were insipid defending 377.
Bumrah added, "Ifs and buts can always be a thing, but this is how the game of cricket goes, England kept on fighting and played better than us in the second innings. Both teams played good cricket.”
He did praise Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja for their first-innings hundreds, which bailed India out of trouble. Bumrah commented, "Rishabh takes his chances, he and Jaddu counterattacked and we were ahead of the game. Very happy for him, he had a very good match. Captaincy was a good challenge, a lot of great learnings, an honour to lead the team and a great experience for me.”
Pant and Bumrah came together after India were 98 for 5. They added 222 for the sixth wicket as India posted 416 in their first innings. Bumrah was leading in his first Test as captain after Rohit Sharma was ruled out due to COVID-19.
–By A Cricket Correspondent