Playing 100th Test no big deal, says England skipper Ben Stokes ahead of contest in Rajkot

Stokes will be playing his 100th Test in Rajkot. (Source:

England Test captain Ben Stokes played down the significance of his milestone appearance against India in Rajkot this week, emphasising that reaching the prestigious 100 Test club was merely just a number.

Making his Test debut back in 2013, Stokes is set to become the 16th Englishman to feature in at least 100 Test matches when he leads the touring side against India in the third match of the ongoing five-Test series in Rajkot on Thursday.

“Every Test is just as important as the next one. Then there’s the next one, which will be 101 – it’s just one more. It’s a sign of longevity, but 99, 100, or 101 doesn’t make much difference. It’s just a number. I don’t want it to sound like I’m not thankful for the opportunities I’ve had, but with milestones, it’s not done until it’s done,” Stokes stated in Rajkot, as quoted by the BBC.

With the series level at 1-1, there might be a temptation to prioritise avoiding defeat in Rajkot, but Stokes rejected this notion.

“I don’t derive much pleasure from a draw. I’d much rather lose while trying to win. But not winning doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Everything is just aimed towards what we can do,” Stokes emphasised. “Losing always sucks, but we’ve lost all (six) games while trying to win them. We’ll never go to the grave not knowing if we could have done something a bit different.”

Mark Wood, who was rested for the Vizag Test, is in line to play the Rajkot Test after enjoying a prolonged break. Stokes hinted at the possibility of fielding two seamers but ruled out the chance of playing a third seamer. 

“If we were to go with two seamers, the reasons why we would consider Jimmy and Woody would be because I just like to have a point of difference. And India is never a three-seamer option.”

Despite Jack Leach being unavailable for the remainder of the series, Stokes reiterated his commitment not to bowl in this series following surgery on a longstanding left knee injury 11 weeks ago.

“I’ve pinky promised my physio I won’t be loosening up to bowl even if everything is feeling well because that would just be a risk that’s not worth it,” he affirmed.

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