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    Ben Stokes believes that despite losing the series, his team has evolved during the India vs England match
Ben Stokes believes that despite losing the series, his team has evolved during the India vs England match
Ben Stokes and Brendon Mccullum

Ben Stokes believes that despite losing the series, his team has evolved during the India vs England match

According to Ben Stokes, his England team has undergone significant development during their tour of India, despite losing the series.

Regardless of the outcome in Dharamsala, England will suffer their first series defeat under Stokes' captaincy as they are currently 3-1 down going into the fifth Test.

England's victory in the series opener in Hyderabad was one of their greatest overseas Test wins, raising hopes that Stokes' men could become the first visiting team to win a Test series in India since 2012.

Since then, however, England have suffered three successive defeats. In the second, third, and fourth Tests, they had good opportunities to take control. Overall, England have lost six of their past 11 Tests.

While young spinners Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir have thrived in India, England's middle order has often looked lacklustre. Jonny Bairstow, who will play his 100th Test in Dharamsala, and wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes will need a strong performance in the final Test to make their case for inclusion in the home summer.

If selected, pace bowler Ollie Robinson may need a strong performance in Thursday's final Test.

England could field three specialist fast bowlers for the first time on the tour due to the cool conditions of the Himalayas.

Stokes described the pitch as a 'belting cricket wicket', which means England could stick with the spin duo of Hartley and Bashir. If an extra seamer is required, Robinson is likely competing with the uncapped Gus Atkinson.

Robinson had a challenging return to the side during the fourth Test. The Sussex seamer dropped a crucial catch and lacked pace with the ball due to a back injury he sustained while making a half-century with the bat. He did not bowl at all in the second innings, allowing India to secure victory.

On Wednesday, some of the England players will meet with the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, before training.

Stokes confirmed his availability to help England defend the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA in June.

He also has ambitions of playing in the hundred for the first time since 2021. Stokes has been retained by the Northern Superchargers and will be available for four or five matches under new head coach Andrew Flintoff.

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