England’s captain, Ben Stokes, stated that his squad “can’t be magnificent every day” following the team’s humiliating defeat to a “relentless” South Africa in the first Test at Lord’s. In less than three days of play, the Proteas triumphed by an innings and 12 runs, with England being bowled for just 149 before tea on Friday after amassing a dismal 165 in their first innings.
After Joe Root’s captaincy ended after a run of just one victory in 17 Test matches, this was England’s first defeat under new captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum. The winning performances in the fourth innings were memorable for their aggressive batting, which included a brilliant run chase of 378 to defeat India at Edgbaston last month.
Stokes emphasised that the team had no intention of isolating itself during the second Test against South Africa, which starts on Thursday at Old Trafford and in which England will try to knot the three-match series. We want to play a particular way, he remarked.
If we follow through on it, we can be a very challenging squad to play against and beat. We cannot consistently excel. For us, this last week was just odd. However, we won’t keep it for too long and bring any extra luggage to Manchester.