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England all-rounder Ben Stokes has insisted that there is no “bad blood” between him and South Africa pace bowler Kagiso Rabada.
Rabada was suspended for the second Test against England at Trent Bridge after he told Stokes to “f**k off” upon dismissing him on the opening morning of the first Test at Lord’s.
However, Stokes made it clear that Rabada’s fiery approach and attitude is not a bad thing.
“It is part of him as a cricketer and why he has been successful,” Stokes told Sky Sports. “The ICC were the people who locked down on that and gave him that ban but I don’t hold any grudges about people wanting to be like that.
“It shows how much they care and want to perform for their country. I have got that side to me as well, so I don’t think there is ever going to be any bad blood if he chooses to go on like that.”
Meanwhile, Stokes conceded that he was concerned about England’s batting collapse in the second innings of the second Test as they were bowled out for 133, which led to South Africa levelling the series at 1-1 as they triumphed by 340 runs.
“It is a pretty easy thing to say when we have put in a performance like that with the bat,” he said. “No one is ever going to get questioned in that changing room about their fight and desire of wanting to perform for England.
“I think the biggest question is just being able to adapt better. We obviously didn’t quite get to grips with that in that last innings.
“So, I think the quicker we can learn to adapt to different situations, the better off we will be.
“It is 1-1, both games have been pretty one-sided, and we just need to make sure we come out here and put in a better performance than we did at Trent Bridge and get on the front foot in the series.”
With the third Test, which will be held at The Oval, starting on Thursday, Stokes is confident that England will bounce back from their disappointing performance at Trent Bridge.
“You take good performances and bad performances in your stride,” he added. “And I think it’s all about how we come back in this Test, which will prove how good of a side we are.
“Obviously, it wasn’t an ideal performance from us as a team and we know that.
“It’s good that we managed to get time away and sort of look back and assess where we went wrong and hopefully we can right the wrongs this week.”