We didn't have a chance in hell of competing with India: Stokes

| | Ranchi
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We didn't have a chance in hell of competing with India: Stokes

Tuesday, 27 February 2024 | PTI | Ranchi

We didn't have a chance in hell of competing with India: Stokes

Skipper Ben Stokes expressed pride in how England have fought toe to toe with India despite not having "a chance in hell of competing" with the hosts in the ongoing series.

India registered a five-wicket win in the fourth and penultimate Test to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series against England, who suffered their first Test series defeat under the leadership of captain Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.

"3-1 doesn't look great, but the way in which we've come at India is what I'm most proud of," Stokes told British media.

"We didn't have a chance in hell of even competing with India. But even today(Monday), that wasn't an easy win for India, and I think they would admit that," he added.

In the fourth Test, England tried to fashion a fight-back before India crossed the line on the fourth day in Ranchi. Chasing 192, India slipped to 120/5, before Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel stitched a 72-run unbroken partnership.

"This young, inexperienced team has been successful over the past two years, but coming to India is a completely different beast, something that this team has not been exposed to."

"The way in which we have reacted to everything, even being on the wrong end of three results, is something I'm incredibly proud of."

The visitors had started off with a thrilling win in the opener but the hosts have come back strongly taking the next three fixtures in an emphatic manner.

"I'm very proud of the way every player has thrown everything at India. No one has ever taken a backward step," Stokes said.

England have let slip several promising opportunities in the series. Their batters have displayed poor judgement, giving away the advantage to the hosts.

Opting to bat first, England had a first-innings lead of 46 but weren't able to capitalise on it as they were bowled out for just 145 in their second essay, undone by the Indian spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.

Stokes conceded that the Indian spinners' skill in those conditions made it "nigh-on impossible" to play with their attacking game.

"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.

"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 favourable conditions. On this occasion, their skill was better than ours yesterday.

"When you've got three world-class spinners operating in conditions like that, you know you're going to be up against it. That period yesterday after lunch was the game.

"Nothing is impossible, I wouldn't say that. But it was nigh on impossible to operate how we wanted to," he added.

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