England Test skipper Ben Stokes hailed teammates for setting the benchmark of standards after they beat South Africa in the second Test by an innings and 85 runs.
After going down in the first Test at Lord’s in just three days, Stokes and his men bounced back to inflict a similar hammering at Old Trafford in Manchester.
England bounce back from routing at Lord’s
A lot of questions were raised over the Bazball – England’s aggressive approach in the revival mode – as they lost their first Test under McCullum and Stokes this summer.
England bowled out Elgar & co for a paltry score of 151 on Day 1 to post 415 on the back of stupendous knocks by Stokes (103) and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes (113*) to bag a massive lead of 264.
England completed the rout on the third day itself after South Africa’s incompetent batting order could put 179 in response to Ollie Robinson (4/43) and James Anderson’s (3/30) tight spells.
Ben Stokes says England set a benchmark of standards after victory in Manchester Test
After squaring off the series at 1-1, Stokes applauded the team for the remarkable turnaround and for keeping the spirits high even in the tough periods.
“Cricket is about how you bat, bowl and field and I think that the way we batted, bowled and fielded this whole game is like the benchmark of the standards of what we set,” Stokes said after the game.
“The energy throughout the whole week… When Rassie and Keegan were in that partnership, where it looked like they were able to counteract everything we threw at them, the energy that the bowlers were running in with and in the field didn’t drop.
“I think what we did incredibly well with the bat was assess that we didn’t feel this was a wicket where we could go out and play in the way that we spoke about. I think that is real progress for the side,” he added.
The third Test between England and South Africa will be played at The Oval in London, starting on September 8.