Well, well, they call him the left-handed Andrew Flintoff, have you heard it? If no, then you will surely get to see a glimpse of why it is so, this Indian summer, during the Indian Premier League. At the auctions, it seemed half of the franchisees were vying to get the Englishman onboard. There was the Daredevils, Royal Challengers, Kings XI Punjab and of course the Rising Pune Supergiants going hammer and tongs for the beefy English allrounder. He was pitted at a base price of Rs 2 cr, and believe you me it kept scorching up and up. The entire ‘Ben Stokes’ episode took about ten-long minutes before the hammer was clamped for the final time for Rs 14.5 cr.
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This is a record, an IPL record, a record to boast about. Let us now delve deep and find out the factors that went in his favour at the table. He has recently toured India for the Test series, so his know-how of the conditions are good. The Pune wicket has traditionally always been low and low, more so during summers, because the heat widens the cracks. This is where Stokes comes in, he will bowl those deceptive cutter and mix it up with an odd faster delivery and bank majorly on the slower deliveries. So, yes it seems it was not an off-the cuff decision for RPS, they had done their homework, well in advance.
It seems T20 cricket demands more allrounders, because Shane Watson, the Aussie was the player whom Ben Stokes pipped to become the highest paid player ever, Watson was bought for a-then record of Rs 9.5 cr.