England players’ desire must not be questioned, says Stokes

(Reuters) – England players deserve criticism for poor performances but questioning the team’s desire is uncalled for, vice-captain Ben Stokes has said ahead of the third of the four-test series against South Africa at The Oval today.

Former players and pundits criticised the Lions after a weak batting display in the final innings of the second test at Trent Bridge saw the team get bowled out for 133 and lose the match by a massive 340 runs.

All-rounder Stokes, who scored 18 runs and collected four wickets as South Africa levelled the series at 1-1, said the backlash was fair but some critics took it too far.

“For anyone to question our fight or desire I think is wrong. They should know how much it means to play for England – how much to wear the Three Lions on your chest,” Stokes told reporters.

“We have to take criticism on performances which we are understanding of, but (questioning our) desire is too much.”

The last time these two sides played a test at the Oval was in July 2012, when South Africa came out on top by an innings and 12 runs.

Around the Web