Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes. (Photo: Twitter)

After humbling New Zealand, 3-0 in the Test series, England Test skipper Ben Stokes said they will carry the same mindset and approach when they face India this week for the rescheduled fifth Test in Birmingham. 

England outsmarted the Black Caps by seven wickets on the final day of the third Test to mark the new era under the aggressive leadership of Stokes and red-ball coach Brendon McCullum with a whitewash. The play was delayed owing to the wet outfield at Headingley at the start of Day 5. But that didn’t bother the hosts anyhow as they took just 15.3 overs to score 113 runs that were required to chase 296. 

Jonny Bairstow leads England’s charge in the chase

Jonny Bairstow was once again on the song with his brisk shots and brought up his fifty in just 30 balls, the second-fastest for England in Test cricket. Bairstow paired his Yorkshire teammate Joe Root to finish the proceedings in pace after England lost Ollie Pope in the first over of the day. Bairstow finished with 71 in 44 balls, his innings was laced with nine fours and three sixes as Root (86) played the second fiddle in the unbeaten 111-run stand. 

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow PC- Twitter

If Root inspired England to a five-wicket win at Lord’s with an undefeated 115 then Bairstow (136 in 92 balls) was the wrecker-in-chief in Nottingham as England chased 299 in just overs on the fifth day. 

We’ll be concentrating on what we’ve done well: Ben Stokes on facing India in fifth Test

Even after England were reduced to 55/6 in the first innings of the third Test, Bairstow in alliance with debutant Jamie Overton changed the course of the match in their 241-run stand. Although Overton missed his century by three runs, England took a slender lead of 31 runs. 

“Regardless of the opposition, we’re still going to have the same mindset,” Stokes told reporters after the match in Leeds on Monday.

Joe Root, Ben Stokes
Joe Root, Ben Stokes. (Photo: Twitter)

“Obviously, it’s going to be a completely different… different opposition, with their attack and players as well. We’ll be concentrating on what we’ve done well over these last three games and look to continue that against India on Friday,” he added.

England are trailing the five-match Test series 1-2 and needs to win to square the series. The fifth Test will be played between July 1-5 at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

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