Ashes 2021-22: Stokes insists England are not beaten yet after another frustrating Adelaide day

By Sports Desk December 17, 2021

Ben Stokes refused to accept that England are already beaten after another dominant day from Australia in the second Ashes Test.

The hosts, captained by Steve Smith in the absence of Pat Cummins, had ended the opening day on 221-2 and ensured England toiled further on day two as the tourists were stuck in the field for 150 overs overall in Adelaide.

Australia eventually declared on 473-9 on Friday, after Marnus Labuschagne (103) had completed his first Ashes century and Smith had crafted an excellent 93 of his own.

The mammoth total was aided by Alex Carey's 51, while Mitchell Starc (39 not out) and debutant Michael Neser (35) enjoyed lower-order cameos as they bludgeoned Joe Root's bowlers around the park.

England lost openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed in the first seven overs in response, before play was abandoned due to a lightning storm looming over the Adelaide Oval with Root's side 17-2.

But star all-rounder Stokes, who ran himself into the ground for his 3-113 from 25 overs, insisted his side are not already beaten heading into Saturday's third day.

"We know that tomorrow is going to be a good day for batting," Stokes told BBC's Test Match Special.

"Losing two wickets is not ideal, but tomorrow is a new day. We'll park everything, just like we parked the result in Brisbane.

"We don't believe we're beaten already."

Indeed, Stokes made an early comeback to feature in the Ashes touring party, after initially taking a break from cricket to allow his finger injury to heal and to prioritise his mental wellbeing.

While things have not gone to plan so far for the 30-year-old or England, Stokes believes his decision to play has already been justified and is by far worthwhile.

Asked by reporters whether he had enjoyed his return so far, Stokes said: "Yes. I've loved every minute of it.

"If you don't feel sore getting up in the morning, you've probably not done what's required of you. You've just got to love the dirt when you get that deep in the game and understand what you're playing for.

"We've seen a lot of the support we've been getting on social media from everyone back in England, and the guys who have been supporting us here in Australia have been absolutely phenomenal.

"It's incredible wherever we go. You hear them even though they're outnumbered, and there are people who are staying up through the middle of the night to watch us from afar in the bars and stuff.

"That's incredible to see. Obviously, the first Test didn't go well and Australia are ahead at the moment, but we know back home we'll be getting as much support as we always do and for us it's about letting them know we really appreciate it."

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