England all-rounder Ben Stokes believes that the fifth T20I of the series against India is no less than a final, insisting that it is great for the team to play in more pressure situations ahead of the T20 World Cup.
India defeated England by 8 runs in the fourth T20I, making the fifth and final match of the series the decider.
In the post-match press conference, Stokes said that he would've wanted England to seal the series with a win in fourth T20I, but the loss comes as a blessing in disguise.
"In an ideal world, we would have loved to have gone into the next game [having] already won the series," Stokes said in his post-match press conference.
"We go into the next game with a huge amount of pressure on our shoulders as a team, because whoever wins that game wins the series.
"That's great for us as a team, especially with a T20 World Cup coming up because the more pressure situations we get put into as a team the more I think we'll benefit from it.
"It is a final because if we don't win then we lose a series and we don't want to lose series, we want to win and we want to make a habit of winning them. The more situations we get put into where we've got pressure on us and we keep prevailing, that's just going to do us the world of good."
England were on course to chase the 186-run target before the slog overs began. Even after 16 overs, the game was within their reach, thanks to Ben Stokes' quickfire 23-ball 46. However, two wickets off two balls in Shardul Thakur's third over (Stokes and Eoin Morgan) shifted the game towards India.
"India played better than us tonight and thoroughly deserved to win, but the game did ebb and flow. Our journey, trying to learn as much as we can before the World Cup, is important," England captain Eoin Morgan said in the post-match presentation.
"We are just trying to learn as much as we can in this series. The progression to the World Cup in seven months is important. This decider is the closest we can get to a World Cup or Champions Trophy. All to play for, and winning away from home is more difficult for various reasons, but it would be great."