Ben Stokes speaks out as England slump to huge defeat against India

England collapsed on day four after being set a mammoth total (Picture: Getty)

Ben Stokes has once again defended England’s approach despite being thumped by India on the fourth day of the third Test, with the 434-run defeat their biggest loss since the second World War.

The tourists had wilted on day three in Rajkot, with a batting collapse followed by a century from Yashasvi Jaiswal seeing India rack up a 322-run lead going into the fourth day.

England had been hoping for early wickets in order to mount an unlikely comeback, but 118 runs were added in the morning session before the irrepressible Jaiswal came back out to bat after retiring hurt on Saturday.

He powered his way to an elegant and destructive unbeaten double century – matching the world record for sixes in a Test innings in the process – while Sarfaraz Khan delivered another punchy cameo as India became the first side to declare against England in the Bazball era.

The visitors returned to the crease needing to score 557 runs to win and what looked like an incredibly tall order became mission impossible within minutes as Ben Duckett was run out in a mix-up with Zak Crawley – with the latter also on the receiving end of a very harsh umpire’s call not long after.

A flurry of quick wickets followed, with Joe Root and Stokes both out sweeping, as England collapsed in extraordinary fashion once again.

Tom Hartley and Ben Foakes put up some mild measure of resistance and very briefly threatened to take the Test to a fifth day, but India’s spin attack ultimately proved too much.

India hammer England in third Test

India were totally dominant on day four of the third Test (Picture: Getty)

Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers for the rampant hosts, taking five wickets and claiming the match-ending wicket of Mark Wood who had entered T20 mode late in the day to post a score of 33 – double that of the next highest run scorer.

England ended up losing by an enormous 434 runs, which represents their second-biggest defeat ever behind only a 562-run defeat against Australia in 1934, while it is India’s record winning margin – an astonishing turnaround given they were 33-3 on the first morning.

Asked where things went wrong for his side, Stokes said: ‘Look, Ben Duckett played an unbelievable innings [on day two] and that was the tone we wanted to set throughout our whole innings with the bat first time round.

‘For us it was about identifying that opportunity to really try and push the scoreboard on and get up as close as we possibly could to India’s total.

‘I actually wanted to be bowling yesterday at some point, although it came earlier than we initially wanted, just because of how we thought the wicket was going. We wanted to try and push the game on as much as we possibly could and sometimes gameplans don’t work out and that’s just sport sometimes.’

India's Ravindra Jadeja

Jadeja sliced through England’s lacklustre batting line-up (Picture: Getty)

Asked about suggestions his side had been too reckless in their approach, Stokes continued: ‘Everyone has got a perception and an opinion about things, but the people up in the dressing room are the people whose opinions really matter to us.

‘We know that things don’t always work out exactly how you want it to. So 2-1 down in the series, we’ve still got two games left, so we’ve still got a great chance to go home with the trophy at 3-2.

‘We leave this game behind us just like we left the first and second games behind us even with those results. We know we’ve got to win the next two games to win the series and that’s something we’ll try to do.’

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