In the post-game press conference, Jos Buttler responded to the question with self-assurance by saying, “Yeah, he can be in the conversation for sure.”
Following yet another game-changing performance in the championship match of a major tournament, the question arises as to whether or not Ben Stokes deserves to be called England’s all-time greatest cricketer.
Stokes already had his redemption story after a forgettable final in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2016, in which he conceded four sixes and the match to Carlos Brathwaite in the final over. Eoin Morgan referred to Stokes as “superman” after his heroics in the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final, in which he won Player of the Match honors and was awarded Player of the Match.
After Ben Stokes’ outstanding performance in England’s championship win at Lord’s three years ago, Morgan had commented at the time that “everyone back home is hopefully wanting to be the next Ben Stokes.”
In 2022, in front of a raucous crowd at the MCG, Stokes added another page to the story of his eventful career. This time, he scored his first fifty in a Twenty20 International during the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, which was played against Pakistan. At the time, Australia was in a precarious position.
“He is a true game-winner, and he has been in that position in those scenarios on a number of occasions now. Simply put, he has a great deal of experience and knowledge in that area “Buttler stated.
Stokes’s position in England’s powerful batting lineup has been called into question before to the start of the competition. In the format, having a batting average of 19 was not beneficial to his cause. But in the two most important games, he came through with clutch performances (his previous knock was followed by a 42 not out against Sri Lanka, when the team’s very existence was on the line).
On Sunday, he was present when England’s Powerplay was halted due to some hostile bowling from Pakistan. As a result, England lost three wickets. After Buttler’s return to the pavilion, the responsibility of leading England to victory fell on Stokes’ shoulders.
Stokes made sure he stayed until the end, keeping the needed run rate within reach, in order to strike an undefeated 52 off of 49 balls and lead England to their second Twenty20 World Cup championship. Although he got off to a poor start, Stokes ensured he lasted until the end.
“I think it certainly wasn’t his most fluid innings or probably didn’t time the ball as well as he can”.
Buttler said after the match
“But you knew he was never going to go down without a fight and stand up and be there at the end.”
We were extremely fortunate to have him, and he is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats in English cricket.
Buttler joked that it was a “shame he did his documentary a year early” when he was asked about Stokes’ redemption after the forgettable night at the Wankhede six years ago. Buttler was referring to the fact that Stokes had bounced back after the event.
“Isn’t it just the most incredible tale you’ve ever heard? I’ll always remember his words to Jofra about how things don’t define you, and I think he’s obviously never let that 2016 final sort of push him back, and you think of the things he’s gone on to achieve in his career since then, and it’s just amazing. I think all these big moments, like I’ll always remember his words to Jofra about how things don’t define you.”
Buttler was of the opinion that the current England side, which now holds the ODI and T20 World Cups together, has a legitimate shot at being the best white-ball team in the history of the sport.
“To have won in 2019 and now to win this T20 World Cup as well, it just shows the vision that people had at the outset of where we could go to as an England white ball side,” said Root. “To have won in 2019 and now to win this T20 World Cup, as well.”
There is no valid reason why we shouldn’t continue to improve upon our previous successes.
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