Ben Stokes (right) insists he has no desire to succeed Joe Root as England Test captain. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP
Ben Stokes (right) insists he has no desire to succeed Joe Root as England Test captain. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP

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Joe Root, England’s captain has narrated how all-rounder Ben Stokes braved his injury to play a crucial knock and help his side salvage a dramatic draw in the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Incidentally, Ben Stokes suffered a side injury while bowling on Day 2 of the 4th Test at Sydney that restricted him from bowling in Australia’s second innings. He is in doubt for next week’s Ashes series finale in Hobart, after sustaining an injury to his left side on the second day of play at SCG.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Joe Root Praised Wholehearted Efforts From Ben Stokes

Joe Root believes Ben Stokes’ performances will motivate his teammates ahead of the next match.

Joe Root added: “It is obviously difficult when you see one of your most influential players walk off the field as he did clearly in a lot of pain and you know the rest of the seamers and Jack [Leach] had to pull up more workload which you don’t plan for going into the game.” 

“There was a wholehearted effort in many respects from Ben and from the rest of the guys. His performance with the bat was more like Ben Stokes near his best which is really exciting thing to see going into the last game.”

Jonny Bairstow Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Jonny Bairstow Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ben Stokes produced two fighting half-centuries to lift England’s batting alongside Jonny Bairstow after flop shows in the last three matches. The New Zealand-born all-rounder has three days to recover and be available for selection for the final showdown in Hobart.

Zak Crawley Top Scored With 77 But It Was The Last 10th Wicket Pair Of James Anderson And Stuart Broad That Ensured The Test Was Drawn

England lost the plot once again after Zak Crawley’s fighting 77-run knock. They lost a couple of wickets at regular intervals before Ben Stokes (60) and Jonny Bairstow (41) stood tall yet again to eat up quite a few deliveries. An injury-ridden Jos Buttler also used up 38 balls for his 11. Australia had their tail-up with the new ball in hand but Jack Leach and Stuart Broad survived well to take the game deep.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Jack Leach edged Steve Smith to slip with 12 balls remaining, only for tailender Stuart Broad to defend an over from Nathan Lyon before the last batsman James Anderson resisted Steve Smith to put curtains on the gripping Test match. Joe Root highlighted that this week’s fight will help them ahead of the next tie.

“We never make it easy for ourselves, do we?” said Joe Root.

“Before this match, I spoke about putting some pride back into English cricket. The fight, desire and character shown in the five days has done that in a small way. It was a dark day at the end of the last Test. It would have been very easy to roll over for the last two. When you find yourself out of the series, it’s really important that you front up. Everyone has done that this week,” Joe Root concluded.

It’s worth noting that Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Jonny Bairstow all played through the pain of injuries. The visitors managed to save the fourth Test by a whisker with 1 wicket remaining, needing to chase a target of 388 on the final day in Sydney.

Joe Root-led England has performed terribly and has already lost the 5-match Ashes series by losing the first three games. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test. The fifth and final Ashes Test starts on January 14 at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)