Two wickets down. Pakistan pacers bowling fast and tight lengths. World Cup Final. A stadium of over 80,000 spectators. Runs on the board. In such a situation, many of the world-class batters can crumble and give away their wicket. But in walks Ben Stokes. Stokes has gained a reputation for being a man who flies high on the big occasions. It was majorly due to his efforts that England got their hands on their first ever ODI World Cup. The memories of the famous Headingly Test win are still fresh in the minds of cricket fans.
Being defined as a ‘clutch player’, Stokes once again took the responsibility of taking his side to victory in a crunch situation. England’s middle order did not have enough time on the crease in this World Cup. After the dominant win over India in semi-finals, the nervousness on the faces of England batters was understandable after Hales lost his stump to a fiery delivery by Shaheen Shah Afridi. Salt walked in but never looked quite comfortable on the crease. Before the start of this World Cup, there were questions raised over the necessity of Ben Stokes in the T20I side.
When Collingwood Backed Stokes To Deliver Big On The Big Stage
Paul Collingwood, former T20 World Cup winning captain of England, backed the southpaw, saying that this England side needs a crunch player like Ben Stokes. On the night of the final, Stokes proved true to Collingwood’s words. While Stokes didn’t time the ball well during most of his inning, he knew the small target to chase meant that even singles and doubles will do the work. After hitting the winning runs for his side, Stokes was surrounded and hugged by all his teammates. Sam Curran, Player of the Match of the Final, said that Ben Stokes was the more deserving candidate for this award. This performance of Stokes might entice the selectors to request Stokes to come out of ODI retirement. Nonetheless, Ben Stokes will surely go down in history as one of the best ‘clutch players’ the game of cricket has ever seen.