Ben Stokes was particularly impressed with England’s ability to continue to play positive and entertaining cricket despite being 55-6 at Headingley; He believes his side will continue with the same attitude against India on Friday, live on Sky Sports Cricket at 9.30am
By Megan Wellens
Last Updated: 27/06/22 5:00pm
Ben Stokes admitted it has been a “pretty special start” to life as England Test captain as his side’s new found mindset helped them secure a 3-0 series sweep against New Zealand, adding that they will continue in the same vein when they face India on Friday.
It was as about as perfect a start as it gets for England’s new regime on Monday as heroics from Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root with the bat handed England a seven wicket victory, a six from Bairstow finishing off another entertaining innings for this revitalised England side.
New skipper Stokes, along with new Test head coach Brendon McCullum, has introduced a positive style of play and for the captain, it has been ‘incredible’ to watch his side embrace a new brand of cricket.
“It has gone really well,” said Stokes.
“To walk away with a 3-0 series win over the best team in the world, it is a pretty special start.
“Testament to the team over these three games, they have been absolutely phenomenal.
“When I took over this job it was more than results for me, it was about changing the mindset of the lads towards Test cricket and about having fun and enjoying the fact you are out there representing your country and the results will look after themselves.
“To say that we have done it so quickly is just unbelievable.
“I can only do so much, so a huge amount of credit to Brendon as well, the way he has come in and influenced this group, the backroom staff, everyone else who has played a part in this series they have been absolutely phenomenal.”
Whilst it has been a series filled with standout moments, for Stokes it was “fantastic” to see his side maintain a positive mindset and mount a fightback despite going 55-6 down in the first innings at Headingley.
He said: “Obviously last week at Trent Bridge was incredible but for me, being 55-6 and then doing what we managed to do in the manner that we did it was probably the most pleasing thing of the series.
“It could have been very us to come back into our shell and say it has not worked this time, let’s just look to play it out.
“Having a lad on debut in Jamie (Overton) having the confidence to go out and play like that, it is something special we are creating in the group and the rub off we are having on new guys coming into the group, it is more important than us at the moment, it is about guys who are going to come into this changing room in the future.
“It has really set a level that, people who want to come represent England in Test matches, this is what we are about.
“I wanted to really push the lads this week and show them exactly what they are capable of doing.”
Next up, is a Test against India at Edgbaston on Friday and the England skipper is adamant fans will be greeted with a positive approach to Test cricket once again.
“It is obviously a completely different opposition and we have got a series to try and draw, but we will be thinking about us,” he added.
“Trust me when I say we will be coming out with exactly the same mindset even though is it a different opposition.”
England vs India
July 1, 2022, 9:30am
Ben Stokes’ side are back in action on Friday as they take on India in the rescheduled fifth Test against at Edgbaston, live on Sky Sports Cricket. Coverage starts at 9.30am with play starting half an hour earlier than usual at 10.30am.