Ben Stokes reveals how England focus on playing fearless cricket

Ben Stokes
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 30: Ben Stokes of England returns to the Pavilion after being given out during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between England v South Africa at The Oval on May 30, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

England put up a brilliant show with the bat in the second ODI on Friday as they levelled the three match ODI series, 1-1. Chasing down a daunting total of 337 against the India, the reigning World Champions stamped their authority right from the onset. Jonny Bairstow continued his fine form as he scored a knock of 124 runs, whereas, Ben Stokes was unfortunate to have been dismissed for 99 runs.

What looked like a similar scenario from the first ODI, England got off to a blistering start with Jason Roy and Bairstow putting up another 100-run stand. Ben Stokes got himself into the thick of things as he come in at number three and smashed the Indian spinners all-around the park. This victory comes despite the fact that the visitors missed their captain, Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings due to injury.

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Ben Stokes revealed his side’s intentions were clear right from the start and that were not going to let the outcome of the first ODI change their approach. The English all-rounder revealed that they played without fear and played with a positive intent.

“Obviously we were bitterly disappointed in that first game, with the way that we played the chase, but I think it was pretty clear that we were going to go out with the same intent as we always do,” Stokes told the host broadcaster Star Sports. “We’re really happy that we managed to get over the line quite easily, especially when India set a really challenging total.”

“[The pitch] was probably a bit quicker than the first game, but over the years we’ve set big totals, we’ve chased big totals, so we don’t really fear too much, to be honest, and we go out and we always try and play as positively as we can,” he added.

The two sides will now face off in the series decider at the MCA Stadium on Sunday. With their win in the second ODI, England have ensured that they will retain their number one spot in the ICC ODI Rankings.

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