IND v ENG 2021: We don’t like to operate on aggression, says Stokes in reference to Kohli’s on-field demeanour

On the eve of the second ODI against India, all-rounder Ben Stokes said being animated and showing aggressive body language might work well for Virat Kohli and his men but the England team doesn’t like operating in such a way on the field.

The question was in reference to the Indian skipper’s in your face conduct while fielding or celebrating a fall of wicket.

WATCH – Virat Kohli, Jos Buttler indulge in a heated war of words during 5th T20I

“Every team and every player has a certain way of operating in the field, which makes them successful. As a team over the last four-five years, that’s not the way that works for us,” Stokes said during a virtual press conference on Thursday (March 25).

“We stick to what we do best and what we make is to build a better side. Each team is entitled to their own way of operations. India have there and we have ours,” he added.

Asked whether he prefers a “nice or spiky” Virat, Stokes quipped: “Personally, I prefer Virat doesn’t get runs, because that’s not good for us.”

Having suffered a heavy 66-run defeat in the ODI series opener, England are at the risk of losing No. 1 spot in the ICC rankings Stokes said it’s not their driving force.

“We deserve to be No 1 because of our results and how we played our cricket and we won’t go away from that. Being No 1 is obviously a fantastic thing to have next to your name as a team, but it’s not our driving force.

“Our driving force is the way that we go about it and our attitude towards playing the game. And that’s what’s made us be successful, and the more successful we are obviously the more chance and the more opportunity we’ve got to be at No 1.”

In absence of Joe Root, Stokes was promoted to No. 3 spot in the first ODI and he managed to score only 1 off 11 deliveries.

“I did actually message Root just asking about his mindset at No 3. He was pretty clear to me and just said ‘play the way that you play’. Just because he plays a certain way doesn’t mean that I need to try and play like.

“At No 3, potentially, I would be facing 100 balls, compared to maybe 60-70 like I normally do. I haven’t looked to change too much, just might be facing a slightly different situation, especially when I’m starting off my innings.”

With twin injury blows to Eoin Morgan (split webbing) and Sam Billings (collar bone), England may hand ODI cap to Liam Livingstone, who has already featured in two T20Is.

“He’s one of those guys that won’t let the occasion get on top of him if he had that opportunity. He’s a fearless cricketer. He’s got the type of attitude that we want to be involved in our set-up going forward,” Stokes said.

(With PTI inputs)

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