England captain Ben Stokes said on Monday the 2-2 draw in the Ashes series showed his side had “walked the walk” after losing the first two Tests against Australia, which made every Test thereafter “a do-or-die situation”.
England secured a dramatic 49-run victory in the final Test at The Oval on Monday, bagging seven wickets in a scintillating afternoon session after rain interrupted play for two hours.
That drew it level in the series and deprived the visitor of its first series win in England since 2001.
“It was a fair reflection of two good teams playing completely different styles of cricket. But each tried to play the cricket that brought the best out of them as a team,” Stokes told the BBC.
“It also showed the team’s ability to fight their way back from a huge deficit,” he said.
“Going 2-0 down, I don’t think many teams would be able to find a way back from that. We knew we had to force it from the second game onwards. Hand on heart, I think 2-2 is a fair reflection of where the two teams are at the moment,” he said.
“When I took over (as captain in May 2022) I had a clear message which led us here, and the way we’ve gone out and played reflected that. We talked the talk and walked the walk out there. I’m very proud of how we’ve done.”
He also praised his retiring star player Stuart Broad, who took the final two wickets of the match to secure the win - the first of them right after switching around the bails on the stumps at the non-striker’s end seemingly to break the batters’ concentration.
“If you went to the bookies and said Broad would flip the bails and then get two wickets, you’d get very very good odds,” he joked.
“That bloke has been incredible for England. I’m so glad his family were here to see him help us win a match we needed to win not to lose the Ashes,” he added.
Stokes also said he hoped to still be in charge of the team when the next Ashes series comes around in November 2025.
“Hopefully we’re still feeling alright and going alright, and I’ll be there.”
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