Stokes relieved to swap ball for bats

England

England all-rounder Ben Stokes was pleased to get off the park after two days in the field, as Australia batted the Three Lions into submission at the Adelaide Oval before declaring late on day two.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes was pleased to get off the park after two days in the field, as Australia batted the Three Lions into submission at the Adelaide Oval before declaring late on day two.

The Aussies posted 570 for nine, thanks to tons from Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin, and debutant Stokes was happy to see his side batting by the end of the day, even though they lost a wicket and made just 35 runs.

Stokes told <i>Sky Sports</i> at the close: "It has been a pretty tough two days but it has been nice to eventually get off the pitch and concentrate on what we need to do with the bat.

"We have now got to go out there and do what we can do. There is a lot of talent in the batting line-up and we know we have the skills to do it and put on a big score ourselves.

"The pitch hasn't really broken up the way we thought with it being so dry. It is still a very good batting wicket and hopefully we can capitalise on it."

Stokes took his maiden Test wicket when he removed Clarke, on 148 at the time, with a leading edge, caught by James Anderson. He was delighted with the effort even though he gave credit to the deck for slowing the ball.

He said: "It was the pitch to be honest. It was a very special moment and something I will never forget. It is my first Test wicket so it is a very proud moment."

Of the side's efforts with the ball, and of plans further in the game, he added: "We have plans as a bowling unit and that is to bowl pretty straight.

"The pitch isn't really doing much so we had to hang in there and pile on as much pressure as we could. The wickets came, if not very often, but the way we bowled created pressure."

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