London: England captain Ben Stokes has addressed the criticism he received from former cricketers for his decision to declare the first innings of the Ashes opening match against Australia. Stokes remains resolute, stating that England will not change their approach to the game.
The first test match at Edgbaston concluded with a narrow two-wicket victory for Australia on the final day. Despite England declaring their first innings at 393-8, with Joe Root unbeaten on 118, the decision faced scrutiny from pundits and former players.
Responding to the criticism, Stokes expressed his view on the matter, stating, “What’s Ashes cricket without a little bit of comments from past players?” He emphasized that England will stick to their aggressive and positive style of play, which has brought them success in recent times.
“I’ve said it for a long time now; we’ve found a way of cricket which brings the best out of us as a team. We found huge success in our mentality and the way we go out and take the game on, so things won’t change,” Stokes affirmed.
Addressing the specific criticism aimed at teammate Ollie Robinson, Stokes defended the talented bowler’s abilities and mental resilience. “I think Ollie Robinson is the [fifth] best bowler in the world, he’s averaging 21 with the ball, that’s all I think I really need to say about it all,” Stokes remarked.
Stokes also commended Robinson’s strong performances and stated that he wouldn’t be intervening to rein in the player’s competitive spirit. “He loves the competition, and it’s professional sport. Emotions are high; it’s an Ashes series,” Stokes said, emphasizing that Robinson’s contributions have been invaluable to the team.
England is now preparing to face Australia in the second test match of the Ashes Series at the historic Lord’s Cricket Ground on Wednesday. Stokes and his team will be aiming to bounce back and level the scorecard in what promises to be another thrilling encounter.