England not beaten yet, says Stokes

Ben Stokes insists England are not already beaten in the Ashes despite more Australia dominance on day two of the second Test.

After losing the first Test, England were reduced to 17-2 in response to Australia’s 473-9 declared in Adelaide.

“We know that tomorrow is going to be a good day for batting,” Stokes told TMS.

“Losing two wickets is not ideal, but tomorrow is a new day. We’ll park everything, just like we parked the result in Brisbane.”

The all-rounder added: “We don’t believe we’re beaten already.”

With Australia holding the Ashes, England must win the five-match series in order to regain the urn.

The tourists have lost 10 of their past 11 matches down under, and have won only one of their previous 10 Tests this year.

England’s last two tours of Australia have ended in 5-0 and 4-0 defeats respectively.

“The series isn’t quite at a precipice, but it’s such an important couple of days,” former England fast bowler Steven Finn told TMS.

“England have to push back.”

Stokes defends England tactics

Australia’s progress to their huge total was aided by England errors – Marnus Labuschagne was dropped twice and dismissed off an Ollie Robinson no-ball in his 103.

The tourists also often relied on short-pitched bowling at the Adelaide Oval, with Stokes in particular employed to send down a plethora of bouncers in his 3-113.

Stand-in Australia captain Steve Smith, who made 93, said there were “strange tactics at certain times”.

But Stokes defended England’s approach, saying: “Over the years, batting has evolved so why can’t bowling evolve?

“Test cricket is all about line and length, but when you feel that’s not working, why not change it?”

‘I’ve loved being back’

The first Test was Stokes’ return to action after taking a break from cricket in July to protect his mental well-being and rest an injured finger.

Stokes was not initially included in England’s Ashes squad but after a second operation on the finger he broke in April, was added to the party shortly before it departed for Australia.

“I’ve loved every minute of being back,” said the 30-year-old.

“Walking out onto the field and wearing the Three Lions is one of the greatest feelings as a cricketer. Being away from home makes it a bit more difficult with the crowds but playing in these Australian grounds is fantastic fun and a huge honour.

“It has been worth coming back. If you don’t feel sore coming off the field and you don’t feel sore waking up in the morning, then you’ve probably not done what’s required of you.”

Meanwhile, England have been deducted a further three World Test Championship points after the International Cricket Council (ICC) clarified their penalty for a slow over-rate in the first Test.

Joe Root’s side had initially been docked five points, however the ICC has since confirmed they were eight overs down on the required rate and have docked an extra three.

It means England have now lost 10 of their 16 Championship points because of over-rate infringements and sit above only Bangladesh in the table.

Analysis – ‘There are runs to be had’

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew

England were exhausted. It was hard work for all of them.

They bowled a much better length today. I keep getting asked ‘what might have happened if England bowled like that yesterday?’ They would have conceded more runs, but would have got more wickets.

England have to bat well. Australia have two inexperienced bowlers and Starc, who can be expensive. There will be runs to be had. England have to get in. Root and Malan batted well at Brisbane. This game isn’t running along quickly.

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