The Ashes: After a demoralising day of Ashes cricket in Adelaide, Ben Stokes refused to acknowledge that England was doomed.
Stokes’ never-say-die mentality and ability to conceive the unimaginable have served England well over the years, with his heist against the Australians at Headingley being the most notable example.
Before his legendary day-four chase, when he finished 135 not out and put up 76 with No 11 Jack Leach, England had sunk to the depths of 67 all out.
A similar turnaround may be necessary to prevent England from falling behind 2-0 in the coming days, with Australia dominating the day-night second Test with bat and ball.
With openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed put out under lights, they declared on 473 for nine, thanks to a century from Marnus Labuschagne, a 93 from Steve Smith, and some late retribution from the tail.
England was spared any additional defeats due to lightning and weather, but the road back is a long one at 17-2.
“If you don’t believe, you’re already beaten,” remarked the all-rounder, who seemed to be addressing both fans at home and teammates in the dressing room.
“We’ve seen a lot of the support we’ve had on social media from people in England, and the guys who have been supporting us here in Australia have been incredible.
“Everywhere we go, it’s incredible. Even though they are outnumbered, you can hear them, and many are staying up late in pubs and other establishments to keep an eye on us.
“That’s amazing to watch. Obviously, the first Test did not go well, and Australia currently leads, but we know we’ll receive the same amount of support at home as we always do, and it’s up to us to show them how much we appreciate them.”
Stokes was not supposed to play in this series just a few months ago, but he returned from a mental health hiatus to join the travelling party.
He was adamant when asked if it had been a worthwhile decision after six generally gruelling days in the field and some long, lean moments.
“Yes. I’ve enjoyed every second of it “he stated
“If you don’t feel sore when you wake up in the morning, you haven’t done your job properly. When you get that far into the game and realise what you’re playing for, you just have to love the dirt.”
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