England’s victory over world number one side India in the first Test will “hopefully close some mouths” after recent criticism, says all-rounder Ben Stokes.
The hosts completed a 31-run win by taking the final five India wickets on the fourth morning at Edgbaston.
Stokes, 27, finished with 4-40, including the key wicket of India captain Virat Kohli for 51.
“We’ve had a lot of stick recently,” Stokes told Sky Sports.
“To beat a team like India will hopefully close some mouths. We’ll take a lot of confidence from winning into the rest of this series.”
England fell to 87-7, leading by only 100, shortly after lunch on day three following another batting collapse, before Sam Curran hit 63 to help set India 194 to win.
The tourists were reduced to 110-5 overnight and resumed on Saturday needing 84 runs to win.
James Anderson struck in the first over of the day before Stokes took two wickets in an over, trapping Kohli lbw and having Mohammed Shami caught behind. He secured victory by locating Hardik Pandya’s edge.
“We were magnificent with the ball,” said Stokes. “We were a bit behind in the second innings but Sam Curran really turned the game playing the way he did.
“It’s just great to be a part of this game. I don’t really know how to feel right now.
“Virat Kohli played brilliantly in the first innings and he was just playing for the swing when I got him there. I’m just so proud to be a part of this group and playing for England.”
‘Curran is like another Stokes’
Stokes is set to miss the second Test at Lord’s, starting on Thursday, because his court case, where he will be tried for affray, begins in Bristol on Monday.
England captain Joe Root said they will “pick a side that suits that surface”, but that Curran, 20, was like “having another Ben Stokes in the side”.
Left-armer Curran, playing only his second Test, was named man of the match after taking 4-74 in India’s first innings and hitting his maiden Test fifty.
“It was a brilliant game from Sam Curran – he showed a huge amount of skill and didn’t appear to show any signs of pressure,” Root said.
“Whenever you watch him operate on the field he has this desire and steeliness within him, similar to Ben.
“He wants to be involved in the big occasions and that obviously suits playing in Test match cricket, and you’ve seen that throughout this game.”
Curran, who made his Test debut against Pakistan in June, said Stokes was a player he had modelled part of his game on.
“I try to have his passion and naturally I’ve got a competitive spirit,” Curran said.
“It feels surreal and I’m trying to take it all in. It’s only my second game.
“There are going to be ups and downs, but I feel I’ve got a strong enough character to deal with the highs and lows.”