‘Feel blessed that we’ve…’: England captain Ben Stokes after 1-run defeat against New Zealand
Post-match, he stated that ending up on the losing side was disappointing but people enjoying the game was the more significant thing for him.
New Delhi: After a loss by just one run against New Zealand, in a Test match that will be remembered for ages, England captain Ben Stokes felt blessed to be a part of such an ‘incredible’ game. Post-match, he stated that ending up on the losing side was disappointing but people enjoying the game was the more significant thing for him.
After the match, Stokes said that the game going into the last day and that situation in the last hour is all that a fan wishes for. He added that even though they came out on the ‘wrong side’, but he feels blessed that they managed to be a part of this ‘incredible game’.
He said that losing was disappointing but in the bigger picture, everyone enjoyed what they witnessed. About giving follow on, Stokes said, “Imagine captaining in hindsight?” and giving the logic behind the decision he added that their opening bowlers ‘ripped through’ New Zealand’ top-order in the last three innings the hosts had to play the ‘perfect game’ to win. He added that the team has been chasing 250-odd runs in the past and he does not regret the decision to give a follow-on.
About his knee, he said that he is not planning to miss IPL but would hope to recover by Ashes so that he can play the role of the fourth-seamer.
England’s coach and ex-New Zealand batter, Brendon McCullum, said that Neil Wagner is one of the ‘toughest’ bowlers he came across.
In the game, Wagner picked four wickets which eventually led New Zealand to the historic win. After getting a follow-on, the Blackcaps posted a mammoth 483 as captain Kane Williamson scored 132 along with 90 from Tom Blundell and a quick fifty from Daryl Mitchell.
Chasing 258, England lost its first five wickets on 80 after Southee’s stunning opening spell. A 121-run stand between Joe Root and Ben Stokes consolidated a bit before Wagner broke the partnership with a bouncer. The Player of the Series and game-changer for England, Harry Brook got runout without facing a ball and things fell in the hosts’ favour. As the game came closer, Wagner did the trick with his smart bowling and won his team the game by the barest of margins.
Such a win is so rare that the only time when a team won a Test by one run was back in 1992-93 when West Indies beat Australia at Adelaide. Also, this was only the fourth time that a team won a game after a follow-on.