Several England cricketers were under the weather during the fourth Test against India which they went on to lose by an innings and 25 runs. Allrounder Ben Stokes has revealed that he himself suffered weight loss of 5 kgs while his teammates also faced similar issues after a stomach illness in Ahmedabad.

“Players are totally committed to England and I think that was emphasised last week when a few of us went down with illness that made operating in 41 degree heat particularly taxing,” Stokes told UK’s Daily Mirror. “I lost 5kg in a week, Dom Sibley 4kg and Jimmy Anderson 3kg among others. Jack Leach was ducking off the field in between bowling spells and spending more time than is ideal in the toilet.”

England went on to lose the four-match series 1-3 and also failed to qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Championship which they are to host in June. India will take on New Zealand at Southampton for the title now.

However, Stokes said the illness isn’t an excuse and instead praised Indian players for their ‘terrific performance.’

“This is in no way an excuse, because everyone was ready to play, and India and Rishabh Pant especially produced a terrific performance, but I take off my hat to the effort that was put in by players who gave everything they had to try and win for England,” Stokes said.

England cricketers were thrashed for their poor show though but Stokes said what matters is the opinion of the captain, coaches and teammates. “Pundits have a job to do and that’s fine. But their responsibility isn’t to make us better players and a better team. That is our job and that is what we have to focus on,” said Stokes.

“The opinions that really matter are those of your captain, your coaches and your team-mates who are trying to make the team and you as a player as good as you can be,” he added.

Stokes though warned that a tough tour like India can end up denting the confidence of young players but he advised them to learn from their mistakes and come back stronger instead.

“For a lot of guys this was their first tour of India and it has been a steep learning curve, but that is part and parcel of being a cricketer at this level. The next test is how you react to those moments,” he said. I wouldn’t want any player, especially a young lad like Ollie Pope, Zak Crawley or Dom Sibley, leaving this tour and thinking they are not good enough to be here. They most definitely are.”

“I have been through times like this in my career and your confidence can take a knock from a tour like this … you have to use the disappointment in the best way you can to motivate you to improve.”