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Ben Stokes demands England focus despite series loss: ‘We want to win this week’

Ben Stokes demands England focus despite series loss: ‘We want to win this week’

While there's no chance of claiming the series win, England can still aim to salvage some pride and end the tour on a high note by securing a 3-2 scoreline.

India vs England 5th Test: England captain Ben Stokes has urged his team to maintain focus and fight for victory in the fifth and final Test against India in Dharamsala, despite the series already being lost to the hosts.

While there’s no chance of claiming the series win, England can still aim to salvage some pride and end the tour on a high note by securing a 3-2 scoreline. This feat would require them to become the first team since 2012 to win two Tests in a five-match series in India.

India vs England: The drive to win

Stokes emphasized the team’s unwavering desire to win, stating, “Well, it’s like whenever we play. We want to win this week.” He acknowledged the importance of avoiding complacency, especially considering the team’s need to improve their performance in high-pressure situations.

Finding right formula: Ben Stokes

England is considering fielding a three-pronged seam attack for the first time in the series. The final decision will depend on the pitch conditions, which are expected to be batting-friendly despite recent rain.

Shoaib Bashir’s slight finger injury might open the door for an additional seamer. James Anderson, fully fit after a brief quad strain, could be joined by Mark Wood, while Ollie Robinson might retain his place despite a disappointing first outing.

Ben Stokes expressed his backing for Robinson, highlighting his impressive Test record and viewing him as a crucial part of England’s future.

Celebrating Jonny Bairstow 100th Test

The fifth Test holds significant personal significance for Jonny Bairstow, who will be making his 100th Test appearance for England. Stokes, a long-time friend and teammate, acknowledged the emotional weight of this milestone for Bairstow and his family.

Maintaining Focus: IND vs ENG

While celebrating Bairstow’s achievement and aiming to narrow the series deficit are important, Stokes emphasized the need to approach the match with the same focus and intensity as any other. He warned against complacency often associated with the final Test of a long tour.

“We’ve been on so many India tours, you know what it’s like when you get to an end of a long one – that sometimes you start thinking about the end of the game,” Stokes said. “I don’t think that anyone is thinking like that because every opportunity we feel at the moment is special to play for England.”

England will take the field in Dharamsala determined to prove their focus and commitment, striving to win the final Test and end the tour on a positive note.

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