IND vs ENG: Captain Ben Stokes rates Hyderabad Test win ‘England’s greatest triumph’ under his leadership

Image Source : REUTERS Ben Stokes celebrating England’s win in Hyderabad on January 28, 2024

England pulled off a famous win in the first Test match against India at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday. Debutant Tom Hartley took seven wickets on Day 4 to stumble India on 202 who were chasing a 231-run target.

Hartley’s sensational spell and a memorable 196-run knock from Ollie Pope forced India to concede their only fourth Test defeat at home since 2013. This was the first time in history that India lost a home Test match despite taking a 100-plus lead (190 runs) in the first innings.

Captain Ben Stokes also contributed by scoring  70 off 88 balls in the first innings to continue his sensational record as a Test captain. England have dominantly won 14 of 20 matches since Stokes’s promotion to red-ball captain in April 2022. 

After the game, Stokes rated today’s win as England’s best triumph under his captaincy as they overcame a 190-run tail in the first innings. 

“Since I’ve taken the captaincy on, we’ve had a lot of fantastic moments as a team,” Stokes told Harsha Bhogle during a post-match presentation. “We’ve had a lot of great victories, we’ve been involved in some amazing games. But I think [with] where we are and who we’re playing against, this victory is 100%, definitely our greatest triumph since I’ve been captain.”

Stokes also praised Hartley’s sensational spell and revealed how giving longer spells to the left-arm spinner shaped England’s gameplan. After Ashwina and Bharat’s 57-run stand for the eighth wicket, Stokes returned to Hartley who provided a breakthrough by taking the last three wickets. 

“The gameplan there is, we’re out here for a long tour and this is going to be a long game, so I was willing to give him the longer spell regardless of what had happened because I knew I was going to have to turn back to him at some point throughout this Test match. Allowing him to have the longer spell at the start was almost justification to say, you know, what I was telling you before the game started is going to happen,” Stokes added.

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