England all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed the dramatic weight loss suffered by himself and his teammates during the fourth and final Test against India in Ahmedabad. Stokes has said that playing in the 41 degree heat had made things more taxing in the series finale.
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Notably, in the 4th Test, India scored 365 runs in reply to England’s first innings total of 205. Later, the visitors could not overcome the 160-run deficit and lost the match by an innings and 25 runs and the series by a 3-1 margin.
“Players are totally committed to England and I think that was emphasised last week when a few of us went down with illness that made operating in 41 degree heat particularly taxing,” Stokes said exclusively to Mirror Sport.
“I lost 5kg in a week, Dom Sibley 4kg and Jimmy Anderson 3kg among others. Jack Leach was ducking off the field in between bowling spells and spending more time than is ideal in the toilet.
“This is in no way an excuse, because everyone was ready to play, and India and Rishabh Pant especially produced a terrific performance, but I take off my hat to the effort that was put in by players who gave everything they had to try and win for England,” Ben Stokes added.
Further, Stokes, who scored a half-century and took 4 wickets in the 4th Test, warned the youngsters in his team against listening to the outside criticism. He backed them and reckoned that they “definitely” are good at playing Test cricket in subcontinent conditions.
“Pundits have a job to do and that’s fine,” said Stokes. “But their responsibility isn’t to make us better players and a better team. That is our job and that is what we have to focus on.
“The opinions that really matter are those of your captain, your coaches and your team-mates who are trying to make the team and you as a player as good as you can be.
“For a lot of guys this was their first tour of India and it has been a steep learning curve, but that is part and parcel of being a cricketer at this level. The next test is how you react to those moments.
“I wouldn’t want any player, especially a young lad like Ollie Pope, Zak Crawley or Dom Sibley, leaving this tour and thinking they are not good enough to be here. They most definitely are.
“I have been through times like this in my career and your confidence can take a knock from a tour like this, but once you assess where you need to get better you take action and work on it. “You have to use the disappointment in the best way you can to motivate you to improve,” Ben Stokes stated.
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