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Pak vs Eng 2nd Test

Ben Stokes said he felt “deeply honored and very privileged” to lead England’s revival after a 26-point win over Pakistan at Multan gave them the three-game series with a game to spare, and his side their first away test series worried. win under his captaincy.

England arrived in Pakistan late last month for their first tour of the country in 17 years after winning just two of their previous 24 Tests there, a figure they have matched over the past two weeks with wins at Rawalpindi and Multan. They have now won eight of their nine Tests since Stokes replaced Joe Root as captain in April.

“When you come to the subcontinent, it’s always a difficult place to come and win [games of] cricket,” Stokes told Sky Sports. “We know what we’ve achieved this week. We know it’s something not unheard of, but very rare to do, especially as an England team.

“We’re taking it all in. We understand how special an achievement this week is, but as we keep saying, these series wins and victories are part of a much bigger picture in what we’re trying to achieve at the moment.

“When I first got the job I just wanted to come in and just try and change a few things and have things go in a different direction. We were never too focused on results when I got into the job, and of course the bigger picture and stuff like that, but sheesh, it was a great nine games to start with.

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“I just feel very honored and very privileged to be part of something like this and that everyone – not just the players but also the staff in the back room and everyone who works alongside us – is on the same path. It’s really very good.”

England had to dig deep for their win at Multan and they eventually bowled out Pakistan for 328 in the fourth innings – the highest team total of the match – to seal a thrilling win. Stokes said they were deserved winners and felt in control for most of the match – the only exception being the 80-run partnership of Saud Shakeel and Mohammad Nawaz for the sixth wicket.

“Wherever we go in the world we want people to enjoy cricket, and the more we can do that – I keep saying it – the more Test cricket is talked about as if it were the losing form of cricket because it is absolutely not”

Ben Stokes

“We were happy with the way we played all week with the bat, with the ball and especially in the field,” said Stokes. “We’ve got a couple of guys in trouble again, so to be out here and grafting into the field, it’s been another great team collective and the guys really deserve everything they’ve been given this week.

“This was another challenge for us, with the wicket more in favor of the slower bowlers than last week, but the way our batsmen went out and committed in tricky conditions was fantastic and we kept an eye on the scoreboard .way we want it to be, even though wickets fell.

“It showed once again how versatile our bowling line-up is. Bowlers can bowl well in England in favorable conditions, but to come here and do what our team did for the first two games is seriously impressive on slow, docile wickets.”

Stokes has made a point of highlighting his desire for England’s ultra-attacking style to help paint a “bigger picture” in Test cricket overall, saying he hoped their success this year would help to to kill the story surrounding the decline of red. ball cricket worldwide.

“I knew how much fun the crowd would get from seeing England against Pakistan in a test match in Pakistan,” he said. “I don’t feel like we’re playing away if that makes sense. The way the public comes to watch cricket they just want to see good cricket and even though we won the first two games we walk to people just enjoying what they saw, that’s what we want to do.

“Wherever we go in the world we want people to enjoy cricket, and the more we can do that – I keep saying it – the more Test cricket is talked about as if it were the losing form of cricket, because it absolutely is It’s days like these and test matches like this one – and last week as well – that’s what you live for, and you’re very honored to be a part of that stuff.

“We understand the opportunities that exist for people [in franchise cricket]. We are not naive in this. All we can do is try to create something where we want people to also be a part of the long format that’s going to happen in the future. A big part is the culture, what’s going on in the locker room, and the style you want to play in and just put pressure on people.

“This game comes with enough pressure without adding more. A lot of people would love to be a part of this locker room right now. Of course it’s great when you win, but take that away and we’re just here having a good time with a group of friends and then we are lucky enough to go out and represent our country in exhibition games four or five days a week.

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