India's flat pitch may point to a stalemate but Ben Stokes hates drawing even more than losing! England's captain is ready to roll the dice in third Test in Rajkot

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Ben Stokes had a one-word reply erstwhile asked connected Tuesday if nan draw, anathema to England successful nan Bazball era, was still disconnected nan array moreover if nan transportation for Thursday's pivotal Test turns retired to beryllium a repetition of nan aboveground that led to high-scoring stalemate present much than 7 years ago.

‘Yeah,’ said nan England captain, 1 of six period makers successful nan drawn first Test astatine Rajkot of a bid successful 2016-17 that India went connected to triumph convincingly. There really was nary request for him to opportunity thing else.

This 3rd Test, then, is possibly much apt to beryllium akin to Rawalpindi past wintertime erstwhile England scored much than 500 connected nan first time unsocial alternatively than nan first ever Test astatine this Rajkot stadium which hindsight tells you went down arsenic a large missed opportunity.


Certainly, location is small chance of Stokes making arsenic blimpish a declaration arsenic Alastair Cook did erstwhile he group India 310 to triumph successful a minimum of 49 overs and had them 172 for six and hanging connected by nan adjacent of nan 5th day.

‘I retrieve reasoning afterwards ‘we’ve sewage them here’,’ said Stokes. ‘Then we mislaid 4-0. I can’t really retrieve what nan authorities of nan crippled was erstwhile we declared but successful those situations you person to consequence thing if you want to get something.

England skipper Ben Stokes has admitted that he hates drafting much than losing Test matches 

England are presently preparing for their 3rd Test against India successful Rajkot which originates connected Thursday

Stokes is apt to attack this Test otherwise from really erstwhile England skipper Sir Alastair Cook did backmost erstwhile nan broadside past came to Rajkot successful 2016 

‘We’ll ne'er spell to our graves not knowing if we could person done thing much to win. I will ever broadside pinch ‘I’d alternatively person much overs to vessel them out’ moreover if that does springiness nan guidance much of a sniff. I don’t get overmuch pleasance retired of a draw.’

Rajkot Essential 

Probable teams 

India: Jaiswal, Sharma (captain), Gill, Sarfaraz, Patidar, Patel, Juvel (keeper), Ashwin, Yadav, Bumrah, Siraj.

England: Crawley, Duckett, Pope, Root, Bairstow, Stokes (captain), Foakes (keeper), Ahmed, Hartley, Wood, Anderson.

Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Joel Wilson (West Indies). TV umpire: Rod Tucker (Australia). Match referee: Jeff Crowe (New Zealand).

The pitch: The notoriously level Rajkot aboveground had a covering of writer connected Tuesday but is still expected to beryllium existent and cleanable for batting.

The weather: It is cooler successful Gujarat but still pleasant and rainfall should not get successful nan way.

It says everything for that accuracy that nan 1 tie truthful acold nether Stokes and Brendon McCullum – which only came astir because of biblical rainfall successful Manchester pinch nan Ashes connected nan statement past summertime - is nan consequence nan skipper regrets most.

‘It does wounded much than nan defeats, particularly considering really it was affected,’ said Stokes. ‘It was thing we did. We’ll ne'er cognize really that consequence would person turned retired had nan rainfall stayed away. Losing sucks but we’ve only mislaid games trying to triumph each of them.’

Stand by then, 1 measurement aliases another, for fireworks successful Stokes 100th Test, a important milestone he was keen to play down connected Tuesday. ‘It’s conscionable a number,’ he said. ‘Every Test is conscionable arsenic important arsenic nan adjacent one. It doesn’t make overmuch quality – 99, 100, 101.

‘I conjecture it’s a motion of longevity. I don’t want it to sound for illustration I’m not grateful for nan opportunities I’ve had. But nan measurement to look astatine milestones is it’s not done until it’s done.’

Stokes came into a very different England broadside erstwhile he made his debut astatine Adelaide during nan ill-fated 2013-14 Ashes tour. It was 1 that had reached nan heights of No 1 successful nan world rankings 2 years earlier but was falling isolated amid bitter divisions successful nan dressing room.

‘I was young and conscionable taking it each in,’ said Stokes. ‘Every dressing room is different and backmost past nan measurement it was led was much authentic to nan guys successful charge, Cooky and Andy Flower. That’s nan bully point astir leadership. If you’re loyal to really you want to beryllium that’s a awesome thing. Do it successful a measurement that is existent to yourself.’

England, then, will proceed to do it their measurement passim 1 of nan toughest tours successful cricket pinch nan bid deliciously poised astatine 1-1 pinch 3 to play.

Stokes is group to make his 100th Test quality for during nan lucifer but played down nan value of nan game, stating: 'it's conscionable a number'

India skipper Rohit Sharma (left) inspects nan Rajkot transportation pinch coach Rahul Dravid (right)  

Englnad arrived for a believe convention astatine nan Saurashtra Cricket Associatioon Stadium successful Rajkot connected Tuesday

They will beryllium looking to bounce backmost from their conclusion against India successful nan 2nd Test in Visakhapatnam

This Rajkot transportation really had a adjacent covering of writer connected Tuesday, capable to make Stokes adhd Mark Wood to nan broadside that mislaid successful Visakhapatnam successful a 3rd Test squad of 12. There is each chance he will play alternatively of a spinner, astir apt Shoaib Bashir.

That is, of course, providing Rehan Ahmed is disposable to play. It really does beggar belief that England recovered themselves successful different visa situation upon their return to India from Abu Dhabi connected Monday and questions person to beryllium asked of nan ECB.

Surely personification – presumably either caller head of cricket operations Stuart Hooper aliases squad head Wayne Bentley – should person gone complete nan specifications of each player’s visa pinch a good toothcomb to effort to guarantee location was nary repetition of nan Shoaib Bashir matter that formed a unreality complete nan commencement of this tour.

Instead nan ECB look to person been shoddy successful nan utmost successful not noticing Ahmed only had a azygous introduction visa and if, arsenic England expect, Ahmed quickly gains nan basal paperwork to play connected Thursday past they will beryllium indebted to nan Indian authorities this time.

But England's young spinner Rehan Ahmed could miss nan 3rd Test aft visa issues stopped him from returning to India from Abu Dhabi

England will beryllium hoping that Ahmed tin get nan correct paperwork truthful that he will beryllium disposable for selection 

Ravindra Jadeja looks apt to miss retired connected nan adjacent Test, alongside KL Rahul and Virat Kholi who is retired for nan season

Mohammed Siraj (pictured) looks apt to return successful spot of Mukesh Kumar for India while Sarfaraz Khan is group for a debut 

India still look to person their ain problems. Captain Rohit Sharma was unusually animated successful speech pinch nan Rajkot groundsman during believe connected Tuesday, seemingly asking why nan transportation was covered and not drying retired nether nan sun.

It looks arsenic though Sharma will make 3 changes to a winning side, pinch Sarfaraz Khan group for a debut and Dhruv Jurel replacing Srikar Bharat arsenic keeper. Mohammed Siraj besides looks judge to return successful spot of Mukesh Kumar.

India will not only beryllium without Virat Kohli, sadly for nan spectacle ruled retired of nan full series, but besides KL Rahul who has not recovered capable fittingness aft damaging his thigh successful nan first Test. Ravindra Jadeja besides looks definite to miss out.

Opportunity knocks again past for England. Just expect Stokes to attack this Test alternatively otherwise than Cook did present successful nan twilight of his England captaincy.