No complaints about Indian wickets: Ben Stokes concedes better side won Test series

Tags: England tour of India 2024, India vs England 4th Test at Ranchi, Feb 23-27, 2024, India, England, Benjamin Andrew Stokes

Published on: Feb 27, 2024

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England captain Ben Stokes on Monday, February 26, admitted that India were the better side under the conditions and deserved winners. He also did not raise any complaints about the wickets, conceding that India won the series fair and square.

India beat England by five wickets in the fourth Test in Ranchi to clinch the five-match series 3-1. It was a complete turnaround for England after they had fought back brilliantly to win the first Test in Hyderabad by 28 runs. They had their moments in Ranchi as well, where they held the upper hand after two days, but could not capitalize on the advantage.

With the series loss to India, England suffered their first Test series defeat in the Bazball era. Admitting that the results have been disappointing, Stokes gave credit to India, especially the spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav. He also rued England not taking their chances when they were ahead in the game.

"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. Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep and the conditions we found ourselves in against them was very, very challenging," Stokes said after the loss in Ranchi.

"When India have a sniff in conditions like that, any team is going to find it hard to not only keep the scoreboard ticking but rotate the strike. You've got to give them a lot of credit for the way in which they bowled in very favorable conditions. On this occasion, their skill was better than ours yesterday," he added.

England made a few eye-grabbing comments on the Ranchi pitch and its cracks ahead of the fourth Test. But Stokes did not put down the loss to the surface. The all-rounder commented, "I had no idea what it was going to do and I was very surprised how it kept together. The temperatures of the day made it behave differently but I think all four have been really good Test match pitches.

"We've seen on many occasions when it's hard to get them out, but there will be periods when spin is a threat. They're the conditions you expect in India. No complaints, just very good wickets and four games, four results, so can't complain," the England captain added.

England have lost the Test series to India, ending their undefeated run in the Bazball era, their first major setback since Brendon McCullum joined forces with Stokes. However, the England skipper was pleased with the progress of young spinners Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir.

"They'll be able to leave at the end of this tour with their heads held very high. For us as an England team going forward, we've got more exciting talent which is a great thing for English cricket," he asserted.

The fifth and final Test of the India-England series begins in Dharamsala on March 7.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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