Ben Stokes was “devastated” as England fell behind within the Ashes after a gripping climax to the primary Test at Edgbaston however he was firm that their type of play can topple Australia.
An unbroken 55-run stand between Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon noticed Australia snatch victory from underneath England’s noses in a dramatic denouement to an LV= Insurance sequence opener that ebbed and flowed.
While smarting from a two-wicket defeat leaves England with an uphill job, Stokes has seen sufficient from the final 5 days to persuade him that their attacking method can reap dividends within the weeks forward.
The huge query amid all of the pre-series hype was how the philosophy styled underneath captain Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum would deal with the world Test champions, however from the second Zak Crawley thumped the primary ball of the match for 4, England have proven they’re up for the battle forward.
“I am devastated we’ve lost that game but in terms of what it’s done for the series, it’s hard to not be too disappointed because it has set up a great series,” Stokes mentioned.
“It’s not a psychological blow in any respect.
“We’ve lost but if you look at the way we’ve played, compared to how the last few Ashes series have gone, proves what we’re capable of doing against Australia.
“Losing sucks but the way we applied ourselves literally from ball one proves we’re able to stand up to Australia.
“Even if we’re on the wrong end of the result here, we proved we can go toe-to-toe throughout the whole game against Australia. We’ve got four games left and that’s what we’re going to be concentrating on.”
One of the key speaking factors from the Test got here with England declaring late on day one on 393 for eight – regardless of Joe Root flying after mentioning his first Ashes century since 2015.
But Stokes was unrepentant – reasoning there was an opportunity to eat into Australia’s batting, which was finally unsuccessful – and argued doing so could have laid the groundwork for the thrilling finale.
“I’m a captain who saw it as an opportunity to pounce on Australia,” he mentioned. “The way in which we played and took Australia on actually allowed us to be able to do that.
“If we didn’t declare, would we have got that excitement like we did at the end? I’m not 100 per cent sure but I’m not going to be looking back at this game as what ifs. We just didn’t manage to get over the line.”
After rain worn out the morning session, Australia resumed on 107 for 3 in pursuit of 281 on the 25,000 sell-out in Birmingham, the place either side appeared to be within the ascendancy at varied levels.
Stokes winkled out Usman Khawaja as Australia lurched to 209 for seven then 227 for eight after Root snared Alex Carey however Cummins (44no) and Lyon (16no) defied the constructing pressure to see Australia house.
The match-defining partnership might need been damaged however Stokes was unable to hold on to what would have been a marvel catch when Lyon was on two.
Stokes admitted his ideas drifted again to Headingley in 2019, when he and England had been reprieved after Lyon flubbed a run-out likelihood at an important stage.
“It’s amazing how the world comes around and I drop that catch and then he’s not out at the end,” Stokes mentioned. “It’s mad how things go round. It was in my hand, just didn’t managed to stick.
“It was an emotional roller coaster to be out in the middle, especially the person having to make decisions but I couldn’t be more proud of the way in which we’ve operated from the start of this game.”
The make-up of England’s bowling assault shall be scrutinised with solely eight days separating the tip of the primary Test and the beginning of the second at Lord’s however Stokes was non-committal about modifications.
While Moeen Ali suffered a blistered spinning finger on his Test recall, limiting his influence on Tuesday, Stokes, who has had issues a few longstanding left knee damage, was content material with getting by means of 14 overs over the course of the Test.
“I think seven days is quite a lot of time to give everyone a good rest,” he added. “We’ll meet up again in three or four days’ time and we’ll assess how everyone’s going.
“But I put my body through more than what it’s been through over the last year which is a great sign for myself and a confidence boost for me.
“Getting through that knowing we’ve still got four games to come has given me a massive boost.”