Ben Stokes: From Being A Villain To Becoming Hero Of England Cricket

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Subhadeep
Aug 28, 2019   •  59 views

Ben Stokes is no new face in international cricket. The christchurch born cricketer who along with his parents shifted to Northern England at a very young age of 12 marked his international debut for England in 2011. Before that at an young age of 18 Ben made his domestic debut for Durham. In 2010 he played for England's U-19 team in world cup and also had scored a century against India u-19.

The left handed batsman who is also right arm medium fast bowler had an inauspicious start in international cricket as in his very fast match against Ireland he was caught & bowled by Paul Stirling for just 3 runs. In the same year while playing against West Indies he suffered an injury that kept him out.

He missed the whole 2012 due to his bad form. In 2013 he was selected for Ashes series where in the second test match he marked his test debut. He got a couple of wickets and scored a combined 29 runs from both the innings. In the 3rd Ashes test he took the wicket of Brad Haddin in first innings and had the important scalps of Michael Clarke and Steven Smith in the 2nd innings. In the 2nd innings while batting he hammered his first test ton as he scored 120 off 195 deliveries. In the whole Ashes test series he scored a total of 279 runs and took 15 wickets. Stokes displayed his all round capabilty against Australia in the same tour but in ODIs. In the 4th match of the series he scored 70 runs with bat and had a bowling figure of 4-39 which displayed his class. But despite performing he was not a permanent member of England squad due to his lack of consistency and expectedly missed out to make on 2015 World cup England team. Soon after World cup he was recalled in a series against west Indies and he performed decently there. With the virtue of performance in that series he retained his spot in the series against New Zealand which was a turning point in his career as in lord's test he notched up 2nd fastest test century by an England Batsman off just 85 deliveries. He also took 3 wickets in that innings.

Meanwhile he got selected for 2016 T20 World cup and he got place in playing XI since the first match. After getting hit for 42 runs in his full quota of 4 overs ,he got back his rhythm from the very next match. Against New Zealand Stokes dismantled New Zealand as he picked up 3 wickets by conceding just 26 runs. Everything was going perfectly until the final. In the final disaster was waiting for both England but to be precise for Stokes. In the final over of T20 world cup West Indies required 19 runs to clinch the trophy and Stokes had the ball to defend it. Carlos Braithwaite hit stokes for 4 consecutive sixes to seal the win and one can understand what was Stokes's condition. He was totally devasted and he gained immense criticism from all over the world for failing to defend 19 runs.

But no sorrow is permanent as Stokes soon found himself going. Against Bangladesh he notched up his maiden ODI ton and that his when he started moving on from that nightmare of World cup final.

He got selected for 2017 champions trophy where he notched up his 2nd ODI ton against South Africa and also the 3rd one against Australia in the very same tournament. He was also selected in team of tournament released by ICC after Champions trophy was over.In IPL he was bought by Rising Pune Supergiants for a huge sum of ₹14.5 crores. He didn't dissapointed the management as he scored 300+ runs and took 15 wickets and was an integral part of his team.

In 2019 World Cup's opening match he grabbed everyone's attention when he scored 89 and also claimed a couple of wickets to seal England's victory without any fuss. After that he wasn't being England's hero in every match but he was always an integral part in defining moments of the matches. England again found Stokes as saviour when it mattered the most. In the world cup final chasing a mere 241, England team was in trouble when they were tottering at 86 for loss of 4 wickets. Stokes along with Buttler had a century partnership to pull England out if trouble. Though Buttler got out but Stokes remained till the end and ensured England manage to tie the match. He scored a briliiant 84* in that match. In the super over also he was crucial as he and Buttler's solo boundary from each of them proved to be the World cup deciding factor. He already became an hero in the eyes of England fans after having a terrific World cup.

Ashes Series which is actually an emotion for England and Australian fans started recently. In the first match Australia won the match and took the series lead. 2nd match was a draw and when the series was at stake in the 3rd match Stokes did something special. England after getting bowled out for a paltry 67 runs in reply of Australia's 179 were thought to be totally out of the match. They were thought to fight for a draw, but while chasing a huge 359,England lost a couple of quick wickets but Joe Root and Denly revived the England team. But England was surely in need of a superhero to clinch the match because 359 was way too much for them. England again found Stokes who overturned Australia's overnight lead, hitting 135* to win the match for England in a record pursuit of 359, which includes a last wicket partnership of 76 runs as England managed to win the match by 1 wicket. His 135 runs innings has been described as 'one of the best ever innings played in test cricket'. He is the same man who was humiliated 3 years back in T20 world cup final but now with his dedication and hardwork he managed to overturn his fortune and now he is a true hero of England cricket, and probably will go down as one of the best ever all rounder in world cricket.

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