England all-rounder Ben Stokes emerged as the unlikely hero for the Three Lions on Saturday afternoon as England beat India by 31 runs in the first Test at Edgbaston. Stokes (4/40) delivered the hammer blow just when Virat Kohli appeared to be leading his team over the finishing line. In his first over of the day, Stokes had Kohli lbw for 51 and then dismissed Mohammed Shami in the same over. Hardik Pandya, who was the last man standing, between England and a victory was also gone when he edged Stokes to Alastair Cook.
After a thrilling end to a tense contest, a delighted Stokes spoke to Sky Sports and credited young Sam Curran for playing a match-winning knock in the second innings. “I thought we are a bit behind with the lead but Sam Curran took them out of play, the way that he played at such a young age, that was the big turning point of this test match. It’s great to be a part of this game, but I dunno…I don’t know what to be feeling right now.”
Complementing the Indian skipper for bringing the fight to the table, he said, “Throughout the whole innings…Kohli played a brilliant knock in the first innings, but with the ball swinging he was trying to move across to play for that inswinger but actually the one that I was trying to swing away, he may be leaned over and missed one for a change. Moments like that change the game in these tight ones. I’m proud to be part of this group, playing for England means so much, and it’s a great start to this tough five-match series. And being 1-0 up we’re in the box seat at the moment.”
“We weren’t quite sure what to expect here. Knew we needed five wickets and we had all the confidence, These games are brilliant. We’ve copped a lot of stick as a team recently and beating a team like India there will close a few mouths,” he added.
“Winning those tight games, you can’t underestimate what it gives teams for confidence. We’ve got a five-Test match series here, so we’ll take all the confidence we can. No better way to start it off than that,” Stokes concluded.
India will play the second Test against England next week from Thursday.