England captain Ben Stokes believes that the exciting Ashes 2023 which ended in a draw against Australia is what Test cricket needs. England defeated Australia to win the fifth Test, level the series, and prevent the visitors from winning their first series in the UK since 2001. Stuart Broad took the deciding wicket on his last day before retiring.
“I genuinely believe this is what Test cricket needed, Every player in an England and Australia shirt is a massive advocate for Test cricket to stay alive. We have been very vocal about that being an objective in the way we play and I think this series has really done that. It has captivated so many new fans and attracted a new audience,” Stokes said after the match as cited by Sky Sports.
“Test cricket is the purest form and I absolutely love it. I hope this series has got it even bigger,” he further added.
Game-changing spells by England’s Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali denied Australia their Ashes win and Stuart Broad scripted a fairytale finish to his career by taking the final two wickets, defeating the visitors by 49 runs in the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval on Monday.
“Two high-quality teams going at it toe-to-toe has been something you couldn’t take your eyes off. Every session has been its own game.
“I really hope we’ve inspired a new generation. I look back to 2005 and what that series did for me as a young person, and I really hope there’s someone who’s the age I was then who says: ‘That’s what I want to be doing’.”
“I think 2-2 is a fair reflection of the teams literally going toe-to-toe. Australia are world Test champions, they are a quality team,” added Stokes.
Prior to a two-hour rain delay, Australia had looked to be in a solid position to chase down 384 as they had reached 238-3 with Steve Smith and Travis Head playing well.
England made a comeback in the match, with Chris Woakes getting the prized wicket of Smith, who nicked the ball straight into the hands of Zak Crawley for 54. Later, Moeen dismissed the dangerous Mitchell Marsh for just six after being caught behind by Jonny Bairstow. Woakes then in the next over got Mitchell Starc for a two-ball duck.
The tides turned in favour of England, who had reduced Australia to 275/7 with 109 runs to go.
“I don’t think many teams would have been able to respond from 2-0 down [like we did]. I am incredibly proud of everyone’s efforts. We have been do or die since the second game and that really suits us. We didn’t shy away from the momentous event The Ashes is. We talked the talk and we’ve also walked the walk out there.
“In a do-or-die situation, most teams can shy away from it, but I’m very proud of this whole team and what they have accomplished over these weeks,” Stokes said.
Moeen’s golden arm continued to do wonders for England, as skipper Pat Cummins was caught by England captain Ben Stokes at leg slip for nine. Australia was 294/8 and needed 90 runs with two more wickets left.
Broad completed a fairytale finish to his career, taking his final wicket, dismissing Carey for 28 after he was caught by Bairstow. Australia was all out for 334 runs, losing by 49 runs.
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