The all-rounder picked up four wickets in the final innings of the first Test, including the key scalp of Virat Kohli, guiding his team to a thrilling victory. Apart from the Indian skipper, Stokes also got rid of KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya and Mohammed Shami. The 27-year-old showed right amount of aggressiveness and didn't let the outside thoughts affect him.
“It's great to be a part of this game, but I don't know … I don't know what to be feeling right now,” Stokes told Sky Sports after England clinched the opening Test by 31 runs.
The result could have been different if Kohli, who scored 149 in the first innings, wouldn't have been dismissed lbw for 51.
"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 in-swinger, but actually it was the one that I was trying to swing away … he maybe leant over and missed one for a change," Stokes explained. "Moments like that change the game in these tight ones."
The future might be uncertain for Stokes, but representing his country is all what he wants.
"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. Being 1-0 up we're in the box seat at the moment," he said.
"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. There's no better way to start it off than that.”
England have brought in Chris Woakes as Stokes's replacement for the second Test, scheduled to get underway from Thursday. Meanwhile, Ollie Pope has come in for out-of-form Dawid Malan.
First Published: August 6, 2018, 3:53 PM IST