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England captain Ben Stokes could bowl against India as side look to bounce back from 434-run thrashing in Rajkot

Ben Stokes could bowl against India - "I like to jump the gun a little bit but things are feeling really good. It's not a yes but it's not a no either"; England thumped by 434 runs in third Test but Stokes says side still have 'great chance' and urges players not to let defeat "eat them"

England's captain Ben Stokes (Associated Press)
Image: England captain Ben Stokes says he "feels great" and could yet bowl against India in the Test series

Captain Ben Stokes says he has not ruled out bowling for England in the final two Tests against India as he urged his side to avoid a "downward spiral" after a 434-run thrashing in Rajkot.

The tourists suffered their heaviest defeat in terms of runs since 1934 as they were skittled for 122 on day four of the third Test - Mark Wood (33 off 15) the only player to pass 16 as England slipped 2-1 down in the five-match series following back-to-back losses.

Stokes has not bowled against India so far as he continues to recover from surgery on his left knee late last year but told TNT Sports that he "feels great."

Sky Sports' England player ratings: Third Test

Zak Crawley 5
Ben Duckett 8.5
Ollie Pope 5
Joe Root 3
Jonny Bairstow 3
Ben Stokes 6.5
Ben Foakes 6
Rehan Ahmed 7
Tom Hartley 6.5
Mark Wood 7
James Anderson 6.5

The 32-year-old said: "I have managed to get my first bowl at 100 per cent in the warm-up. I'm not going to lie, I feel really great.

"I felt like I could have bowled in this game but that would have been stupid.I have a whole body to get used to bowling again.

"As a person I like to jump the gun a little bit but things are feeling really good. It's not a yes - but it's not a no either. I have progressed a lot faster than I thought I would.

"That will be a more detailed chat with the medical team about what workload I have done to pass me off as not being a massive risk."

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Ben is clever. He won't bowl unless he thinks he's legitimately able to. The problem would be if he starts getting into a spell and then he can't get out it.
Brendon McCullum on Ben Stokes

'You've got to learn from disappointment, not let it eat you'

England's second innings lasted just 39.4 overs with India left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja taking five wickets, including Joe Root (7) and Jonny Bairstow (4) lbw on the sweep.

However, the away side threw away a golden opportunity in their first innings, with Ben Duckett's sublime century having propelled the team to 224-2 in reply to India's 445 all out and with home off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin absent due to a family emergency.

Root was promptly caught off Jasprit Bumrah on the reverse scoop - a shot Telegraph writer Scyld Berry described as the stupidest shot in English Test cricket history - and a blizzard of rash strokes led to England losing eight wickets for 95 runs and their final five for 20.

I can understand why there would be frustration around that because of how good a player Joe is. It's not a shot you necessarily see Test match players playing. But who am I to question a guy who has 30 Test match hundreds and nearly 12,000 Test match runs? I think he knows what he's doing.
Ben Stokes on Joe Root's dismissal on the reverse scoop

India opener Yashasvi Jaiswal subsequently scored his second double century of the series as the hosts set their opponents a record 557 to win - and then demolished them.

Stokes added: "We were outplayed. Did we go into our shells a little bit because of the situation? That's not what we do. I don't think we need to temper anything, we need to look at our execution.

"Losing games for England isn't where you want to be but games are won or lost in the head. You've got to learn from disappointment but use it in a positive way, not let it eat you.

England's James Anderson congratulates India's captain Rohit Sharma (Associated Press)
Image: England will face India in the fourth Test at Ranchi from Friday

"I know that thinking too deep into certain things can send you on a downhill spiral. It's about what we do the next two games.

"I just make sure all the emotion, all the disappointment there would be in that dressing room, make sure it stays there.

"We've got two games left and all I'm thinking about is winning this series 3-2. We still have a great chance."

'The only opinions that matter are ours'

Asked at the presentation whether England were reckless with the bat on the third morning, Stokes said: "Everyone has a perception, an opinion, but the opinions of the people in the dressing room are the only ones that matter to us.

England's Ben Duckett after his century in Rajkot (Getty Images)
Image: Ben Duckett struck 153 from 151 balls in England's first innings at Rajkot

"Duckett played an unbelievable first innings and that was the tone we wanted to set throughout.

"It was about identifying that opportunity to push the scoreboard on and get as close as we could do to India's total.

"I wanted us to be bowling yesterday, even though it came earlier than we expected, because of how we felt the wicket was going.

"We wanted to push the game on as much as we possibly could, but sometimes game-plans don't work out."

'Stokes' England better placed than any other side to park this defeat'

Ben Stokes (Getty Images)
Image: England captain Stokes: 'Games can be won and lost in the head so we will be leaving all the disappointment and emotion from this week and moving on to the next one'

Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook added while analysing the game for TNT Sports: "This side is better placed than any other side in England history to park a 434-run loss.

"In isolation that is an incredible figure but Stokes has this unflappable belief that he can win from anywhere. That belief rubs off on his team.

"I imagine [England Test coach] Brendon McCullum will be checking people are okay in themselves and with their own games but there will be no big team meetings.

"Stokes will be practising heads and tails as if he can win [the toss], that's probably the most important thing he can do."

Follow over-by-over text commentary from the fourth Test between India and England, in Ranchi, live on and the Sky Sports App from 3.45am on Friday (first ball at 4am).

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