England cricket team is facing torrid time from the local media after their meek surrender against India in a 1-3 series loss despite taking a 1-0 lead in the first Test.
The Joe Root-led side lost all the remaining Test matches before the full quota of days could be played including two Tests in Ahmedabad ending in two and three days respectively as English batsmen saw daylight with Indian spinners running circles around them.
Ben Stokes in particular was left flummoxed by R Ashwin, who has now dismissed the burly southpaw recrod 12 times in the longest format of the game. Stokes, who brought some semblance to his batting with a fifty in the last Test, had to face the heat from English media as his and teammates' commitment towards the national team was questioned.
And the 29-year-old all-rounder decided to answer his critics saying he and his gave it all in the scorching heat of Ahmedabad in the fourth Test.
"Players are totally committed to England and I think that was emphasised last week when a few of us went down with illness that made operating in 41 degree heat particularly taxing," Stokes told Mirror Sport.
"I lost 5kg in a week, Dom Sibley 4kg and Jimmy Anderson 3kg among others. Jack Leach was ducking off the field in between bowling spells and spending more time than is ideal in the toilet.
"This is in no way an excuse, because everyone was ready to play, and India and Rishabh Pant especially produced a terrific performance, but I take off my hat to the effort that was put in by players who gave everything they had to try and win for England," Ben Stokes added.
He furhter said he isn't paying much heed to what cricket experts have to say about thier performance and it's what his captain, coach and teammates have to say what matters to him.
“Pundits have a job to do and that's fine,” said Stokes. “But their responsibility isn't to make us better players and a better team. That is our job and that is what we have to focus on.
“The opinions that really matter are those of your captain, your coaches and your team-mates who are trying to make the team and you as a player as good as you can be.
He further added that many young English players were playing in Indian conditions for the first time and they must not go back home demoralised in self-doubt.
“For a lot of guys this was their first tour of India and it has been a steep learning curve, but that is part and parcel of being a cricketer at this level. The next test is how you react to those moments.
“I wouldn't want any player, especially a young lad like Ollie Pope, Zak Crawley or Dom Sibley, leaving this tour and thinking they are not good enough to be here. They most definitely are.
“I have been through times like this in my career and your confidence can take a knock from a tour like this, but once you assess where you need to get better you take action and work on it. You have to use the disappointment in the best way you can to motivate you to improve," Ben Stokes stated.