Melbourne: Ben Stokes can certainly go on to become England’s greatest ever cricketer as the star all-rounder “stands up in the biggest moments” like he did on Sunday, said skipper Jos Buttler said after the team’s T20 World Cup triumph.
Stokes had anchored England’s chase against New Zealand in the 2019 ODI World Cup final with an unbeaten 84 not out.
On Sunday, Stokes struggled against Pakistani pacers initially but took his team past the line with a responsible 52 not out to help his team win its second T20 World Cup title. So is he on his way to become England’s greatest ever cricketer? “Yeah, he can be in the conversation for sure,” said Buttler after the famous win over Pakistan at the MCG.
“He (Stokes) always stands up in the biggest moments. He is a man who can take a lot of pressure on his shoulders and perform, and yeah, with him in the middle you know you have got a good chance. “Yeah, just so proud of him, pleased for him that he’s stood up and done it again,” Buttler said with a sense of gratitude.
In the 2016 T20 World Cup final, Stokes was on his hunches after Carlos “Remember The Name” Brathwaite hit him for four successive sixes to fire the West Indies to their second title.
As ‘Sweet Caroline’ was being played at the MCG after England’s win, Buttler couldn’t be more happier for Stokes, who has gone through a lot in past few years.
He lost his father in December 2020 and eight months later, he took an indefinite break from the game to “prioritise his mental well being”, which also finds a mention in his tell all documentary.
“Yeah, it’s an amazing story really, isn’t it. I think shame he did his documentary a year early. He could have added that in. Yeah, he has been on an amazing journey.” Buttler remembers what Stokes had once told to Jofra Archer ==================================== “I think all these big moments, like I’ll always remember his words to Jofra about how things don’t define you. 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 is just amazing.” The skipper said his premier player just knows how to win big games.
“Yeah, no surprise. He is a true match winner, and he is been there in those scenarios time and time again. He just has a lot of know-how for how to do that.” What stood out for Buttler was the fact that despite not being at his fluent best, Stokes never gave up the fight against a quality Pakistan bowling line-up.
“I think it certainly wasn’t his most fluent innings or probably didn’t time the ball as well as he can, but you knew he was never going to go down without a fight and stand up and be there at the end.
“We were immensely lucky to have him, and he’s one of the great players of English cricket,” said the skipper.
‘Feeling will take time to sink in’ =================== Buttler is four and half months into England T20 captaincy and he feels that winning a title within that span will take time to sink in.
“I think this seems to take more time to sink in. It feels different (from the 2019 World Cup win). That’s all I can say…Just delighted.” Buttler is new to captaincy but has understood one thing that building relationships is key to a happy and successful team.
“I think relationships take time. As you get to know people better and better, you build trust. I would say the Pakistan tour for the group, not just myself and the coach, but for everyone involved, it just seemed like a really good tour. A lot of bonds were built.”
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