Ben Stokes: I do everything the team asks of me

The all-rounder led the way with a match aggregate of 254 runs and three wickets, two on the final day, to earn England a 113-run win in Manchester.

Joe Root and Ben Stokes after England's win over West Indies at Old Trafford.

Joe Root and Ben Stokes after England's win over West Indies at Old Trafford.   -  REUTERS

England skipper Joe Root said he isn't surprised by Ben Stokes' match-winning contribution in the second Test against West Indies at Old Trafford on Monday.

The all-rounder led the way with a match aggregate of 254 runs and three wickets, two on the final day, to earn England a 113-run win in Manchester.

AS IT HAPPENED

Root, who returned as regular skipper after missing the first Test, said, "Stokes just keeps getting better and better. He went through a range of gears and played the situation. He doesn't surprise me, if you watch how he goes about his business in training and practice, he leads the way. He just wants to get better and better and it is great for a lot of young guys coming in to see that."

From Stokes' heroics to Broad vehemently justifying his place in the team, here are our correspondents discussing the takeaways from the match and the road ahead for the Windies.

 

Man of the match Stokes denied feeling being overused with the ball. He said, "Absolutely not. I do everything the team asks of me and we have found the method of playing dry cricket with the field. Not only does it give us a wicket, it also keeps the run rate in check because the batsmen can't get away. In the first innings it just came about. We didn't feel there was any lateral movement off the pitch or anything. Bouncing six balls into the wicket is a plan we use in Tests.

"A lot of credit has to go to the spell the bowlers bowled yesterday - [Stuart] Broad, [Chris] Woakes, [Sam] Curran and [Dom] Bess. There are discussions, but Joe has the final call on when I bowl."

Root was pleased with his team's first innings batting after being inserted by Jason Holder. "It was a brilliant week of cricket. From the outset making 400 for the third time in two weeks was great. From that point on in this game, we just drove the game on. At the start of the day all three results were possible and it was great to finish on top," he said.

Stokes had an injury scare late in the day with England one wicket away from the win. "I am fine," said the 29-year-old. "The body started to get a bit stiff. I said to Broady, he asked me to stop. Didn't want to take that risk."

Root also reserved raise for opener Dominic Sibley, who scored a patient hundred in the first innings to set the tone for England. "I mean that's exactly what we want from him - to go out there and make that big contribution."

Broad, who expressed his displeasure at being dropped in the first Test, returned to the side with six wickets. Root said, "You expect that from Stuart. When he says something you expect him to back it up. He put up a great performance in the first innings and today as well. We always feel that he has a long career ahead."

The final Test will also be played at Old Trafford from July 24.

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