England has truly had a summer to forget, after being beaten (4-0) by Australia in the ongoing Ashes. Australia has never been a good hunting ground for England, but things could have been different this summer had star English allrounder Ben Stokes been there. Stokes was not picked in the English Test team, Dawid Malan was picked instead after Stokes was involved in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub. A video of Stokes punching a passerby ruthlessly went viral. When this episode came to the light, Ben Stokes was not included in the English squad heading to Australia.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) January 8, 2018
In 2017, Stokes was in a phenomenal form with the bat as well as the ball. Stokes played a pivotal role in Rising Pune Supergiant making it to the finals. In 12 IPL matches, he scored 316 runs and also picked up 12 wickets. He is unlucky as the fresh IPL Auctions will take place on January 27-28, hence his performance in T20Is in February will not be taken into consideration. He also came good for England in the longer format against South Africa earlier in the year, which meant he was all set to play a big role in the Ashes, but unfortunately, that did not happen for the English southpaw.
So, with Ben Stokes finally slated to make a comeback in the triangular T20I series next month, featuring Australia and New Zealand, here’s why we feel England’s fortunes could change next month.
Ben Stokes is a fine batsman as well as a bowler. He is most suited for the shortest format as his IPL record suggests. His inclusion in the T20I triangular series is going to be a massive boost for England.
Ben Stokes would be looked at as someone who can provide the finishing kick to the innings. He is best suited to play cameos at the fag end of the innings.
Stokes is never shy of a word, he is someone who easily gets into altercations. That is a quality which should help England bear a fiery look to their side. Stokes is someone whose attitude rubs off on others that should help the teams cause.
After a warm-up match against the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra on February 2, they have matches against Australia in Hobart and Melbourne and then New Zealand in Wellington and Hamilton.
The final will be held at Auckland’s Eden Park on February 21.
England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood