Ashes 2013-14: England have plenty to play for, insists Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes insisted that England still have plenty to play for in the final Ashes Test despite ending day one on 8-1

Ben Stokes insisted that England still have plenty to play for in the final Ashes Test after Steven Smith’s excellent innings of 115 gave Australia the advantage on day one.

Smith helped the hosts recover from 97-5 to 326 all out after putting on a blistering 128-run partnership with Brad Haddin in Sydney.

Losing the wicket tonight wasn’t ideal but hopefully tomorrow we can get runs on the board

Ben Stokes

However, Mitchell Johnson removed Michael Carberry for a duck at the start of the tourists’ innings to leave Alastair Cook’s men on 8-1.

Stokes, who took 6-99 and claimed the first five-wicket haul of his young Test career, feels that the tourists are capable of fighting their way back into the final match as they look to avoid a series whitewash.

“There’s still a lot more to play for in this game,” said Stokes.

“Losing the wicket tonight wasn’t ideal but hopefully tomorrow we can get runs on the board. We’ve just got to take what comes at us.”

The 22-year-old, who is playing just his fourth Test match for England, continued: “The other pitches have been a bit flatter – there was a bit more in this.

“You looked to bowl top of off stump and you didn’t need to stray from that line and length. As the ball got older it stopped swinging and when that happens out here it becomes easier to bat.

“You’ve just got to try to keep a level head and not get too carried away, whether it’s good or bad.”

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