In yet another masterful display of cricketing prowess, Ben Stokes, the English cricket sensation, etched his name further into the annals of cricketing history.
In a performance marked by sheer dominance, Stokes guided his team to an extraordinary innings total of 182 runs in a One Day International (ODI) match, a record high for any Englishman in this format.
Ben Stokes: A Mythic Figure in Modern Cricket
The legend of Ben Stokes continues to grow, transcending his identity as a cricketer to assume a mythical stature.
His impact on the game has reached a point where even England’s fiercest rivals can no longer deny his extraordinary influence.
This summer, Australia’s head coach, Andrew McDonald, acknowledged the challenge posed by Stokes, confessing that “as long as Ben is around, you’re never in full control.”
Such recognition speaks volumes about the aura that surrounds Stokes.
Respect from All Quarters: Virat Kohli’s Acknowledgment
Even Virat Kohli, a cricketer of comparable global renown, openly declared Stokes as his favorite player.
In the world of cricket, where greatness recognizes greatness, Kohli’s endorsement underscores the unique status that Stokes enjoys.
A New Role and a New Focus
Stokes’s journey in recent times has seen him transition into a role primarily focused on batting.
With injuries limiting his bowling contributions, he now concentrates solely on his skills as a specialist batsman.
This shift has brought newfound clarity to his approach.
He expressed his relief, stating, “It’s the first time I’ve been clear in my mind that it’s the one thing I can focus on.”
A Return to His ODI Roots
It’s easy to overlook the fact that for much of his career, Stokes excelled in the 50-over format of the game.
His hiatus from ODIs was not a matter of preference but a necessity brought about by his responsibilities as the Test captain and the looming T20 World Cup.
However, his return to the ODI arena has been seamless, with his career average now back above 40, and since 2016, an impressive 51.
Stokes’s Impact: Beyond the Occasional Miracle
While memorable moments may stand out, it’s important to recognize that Stokes is a consistent run-scorer in 50-over cricket.
His promotion to the No. 4 position in the batting order may offer him the luxury of time to build his innings, as seen in his recent performance where he started cautiously and then unleashed his batting prowess.
Stokes’s Value Revealed Sooner Than Expected
Initially, it was believed that Ben Stokes’s true value would shine in high-pressure, big-game situations like the World Cup.
However, his return to ODI cricket has already demonstrated his immense worth.
His ability to adapt to a new role and continue delivering exceptional performances marks him as a true cricketing legend, not just for England but for the cricketing world at large.