Greatest victory in Bazball era, says Ben Stokes after England beat India in Hyderabad Test

Written by Praveen CA

Ben Stokes had no doubts in his mind. “Since I’ve taken the captaincy on, where we are and who we’re playing against, it’s 100% our greatest victory,” said the England captain after his side’s 28-run win against India in the first Test match in Hyderabad.

Strengthening their lead courtesy of Ollie Pope’s 196, England managed to run through the Indian batting on Day 4 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, dismissing the hosts for 202. With India having secured a 190 run-lead, England managed to overturn a second highest first-innings deficit in the country.

Speaking to the home broadcasters post-match, Stokes said, “It was my first time coming out here and being captain in these conditions. I’m a great observer, I’ve watched how India operate in the field, how Rohit set the field when they bowled.”

The English skipper then praised debutant Tom Hartley, who went from leaking 131 runs in the first innings to claiming a 7-fer in the second innings. “Tom came into the squad for the first time, he’s heard a lot had a lot of confidence. I was willing to give him a long spell regardless of what happened. Whether that was the reason he got seven wickets and won us the game, who knows?” Stokes said.

While Hartley’s outing in the second innings saw him finish the match nine wickets, it was Ollie Pope who was adjudged the player of the match for his knock in England’s second innings.

Having been hailed as the new benchmark for English batting in the subcontinent on Saturday, Pope also received huge praise from Stokes, who termed his as “the greatest innings by an Englishman on the subcontinent.”

“Seen some special innings from Joe Root, but the whole innings on a difficult wicket, for me that’s the greatest innings by an Englishman on the subcontinent,” he said.

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Praveen CA