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Ben Stokes – England’s most potent weapon

Ben Stokes was exceptional for England in their tournament opener, winning the man-of-the-match award for his excellent performance in all the three departments of the game. But it wasn’t always an easy road for Stokes. A trip down the memory lane and one will immediately remember the 2016 T20 World Cup final, where Stokes could not defend 19 runs in the final over against Carlos Brathwaite.

Learning from bad experiences

The result of the match did not only dash England’s dreams of winning the T20 World Cup but also raised great question marks over Ben Stokes’ ability and temperament. But Stokes recovered brilliantly from the heartbreak. While his career has been constantly on the up after that moment at the Eden Gardens, Carlos Brathwaite has wavered in the international arena.

That incident in Bristol

There were more lows remaining for Ben Stokes to face as, after the World T20 debacle, he became embroiled in a big controversy for assaulting a man in Bristol. After the incident, he had to undergo lengthy court procedures and was also kept out of the England team for a sustained duration. But he never let his guard down, concentrating on improving his game and made a fantastic comeback.

The MVP of IPL 2017

Ben Stokes has participated in three editions of the IPL so far. In two of the three seasons, he has played for the Rajasthan Royals. His best performances though came during his debut campaign with the Rising Pune Supergiant. The most expensive purchase in the auctions, Stokes scored 616 runs at an average of over 60 and also picked up 14 wickets, to inspire the Pune-based franchise into the finals.

A key player in England’s ODI setup

In 2018, Stokes scored 313 runs in 10 innings and also picked up 5 wickets. He has carried his good form in 2019, scoring 343 in 8 innings at an average of over 57. This has made him a vital cog in the English machine who are the heavy favourites to lift the World Cup.

Starts off the tournament in style

In the tournament opener against South Africa, the quality of Ben Stokes was the difference between the two sides. The all-rounder played a blistering knock of 89 off just 79 deliveries. He also inflicted some serious damage in the field picking up 2 wickets and only conceding 12 runs. The defining moment of the match also involved Stokes, as he picked up one of the greatest catches of all-time near the boundary line which dismissed Andile Phehlukwayo. Though Stokes did not have a similar impact in England’s next couple of games against Pakistan and Bangladesh, the opening fixture only reaffirmed his value to the current England squad.

A match-winner for England

England are ranked No.1 in world cricket right now due to the sheer number of match-winners they have in their ranks. In this, Stokes, in particular, stands out due to the three-dimensional abilities which he brings into the equation. Players of his ilk are hard to find in world cricket these days and England are certainly blessed to have someone like Stokes who they can call upon during any situation in the game.

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