‘The technology has gone wrong’: Stokes laments DRS in England defeat amid LBW drama
Ben Stokes feels England were let down by technology at a crucial moment as they slipped to a series-levelling Test defeat against India – but the captain has refused to blame the result on “if, buts and maybes”.
The tourists were bowled out for 292 on day four of the second Test in Visakhapatnam, going down by 106 runs as they fell well short of a history-making chase.
Opener Zak Crawley had looked the man most likely to do something special and his dismissal for 73 just before lunch turned the game decisively in India’s favour.
Kuldeep Yadav’s lbw shout was initially turned down by experienced umpire Marais Erasmus, who judged the ball to missing leg stump, but DRS ruled in the bowler’s favour when ball-tracking suggested it was going on to hit.
England lost Jonny Bairstow in the next over and never quite recovered.
“My personal opinion is that the technology has gone wrong on this occasion. That’s where I stand on it,” the England captain said.
“Technology in the game is obviously there and everyone has an understanding of the reasons it can never be 100 per cent. That’s why we have the ‘umpire’s call’.
“So when it’s not 100 per cent, I don’t think it’s unfair for someone to say ‘I think the technology has got it wrong’.
“I will say that, but in a game full of ifs, buts and maybes I am not going to say that’s the reason why we haven’t got the result we wanted.”
England’s score was the second-highest fourth-innings total any overseas team have scored in Indian conditions, but the scale of their target was simply too great to overcome without a big century to build around.
Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes and Tom Hartley were all battling against illness that emerged in the camp overnight, along with the injured Jack Leach at the team hotel, leaving Stokes proud of the fight his side put up.
“There’s a bit of a virus going round, a couple of guys woke up not feeling great,” he said.
“It’s not ideal, you want everyone to be feeling great but I’m proud that the guys who were feeling under the weather didn’t shy away and gave it their best.”
England’s aggressive display in defeat and even dismissals like Joe Root’s for 16, an agricultural heave from the side’s most elegant player, do not give Stokes pause for thought.
“I think our approach is what we’re known for, the way in which we play,” he said.
“We want to stay very true to ourselves. I was happy with the way we went about that chase. That’s exactly how we play cricket. It won’t always work but a loss is a loss; you don’t get any points losing by five and you don’t get less for losing by 100.”