Would be a lie to say I wasn't surprised ...

Pakistan tour of England, 2021

Would be a lie to say I wasn't surprised how easily we have beaten Pakistan: Ben Stokes

Tags: Pakistan tour of England, 2021, Pakistan, England, England vs Pakistan, 2nd ODI at London, Jul 10, 2021, Benjamin Andrew Stokes

Published on: Jul 13, 2021

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Stand-in England captain Ben Stokes has admitted that he has been surprised at how well a team chosen at the last moment for the ODI series against Pakistan has performed in the first two matches. England were forced to select a whole new team for the one-day series after seven members of the original contingent tested positive for COVID-19.

Playing with fresh faces, England won the first ODI by nine wickets and the second by 52 runs. They now have a chance to clean sweep Pakistan by winning the final one-dayer on Tuesday in Birmingham. According to Stokes, the series win is a reflection of how England’s aggressive brand of play has had an impact on the team’s culture

He said, "I was thinking about this the other day. When I got sent through the squad, I read through and even though it is a last-minute thing, I thought we had a strong and talented squad and I knew we'd be able to compete against Pakistan. But it would be a lie to say I wasn't surprised how easily we have done it. That is just credit to everyone who has turned up here.

"And it is a reflection on the mindset that England has when it comes to white ball cricket and the modern day way of playing, to just go out and express yourselves and don't worry about the occasion and just be fearless. One of the great things to come out of the series is to have inexperienced guys go out and perform on the big stage against a very experienced Pakistan team. It was such a tight turn around to get a group of players together, so to put that all to one side and get those two performances is an incredible achievement given what's happened," Stokes added.

Phil Salt and James Vince featured in an aggressive stand of 97 for the second wicket after England lost two early scalps in the second match. They recovered to post a decent total and then the bowlers carried on the good job. Reflecting on England’s performance, Stokes explained, "One thing I said when we had a wrap up this morning [after training] was one of the most pleasing things was seeing how the inexperienced guys reacted to that tricky period we had in the middle. We were only able to play like because of how Vincey and Salty played.”

Stokes will be looking forward to a clean sweep when England face Pakistan on Tuesday. The ODIs will be followed by a three-match T20I series.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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