Friday, July 12, 2024

Ben Stokes feels England can defend their ODI World title, says no arrogance in admitting they’re a ‘very good team’

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Ben Stokes is making a comeback from his ODI retirement to take on the role of a middle-order batsman in the upcoming World Cup.

England’s Test team captain, Ben Stokes, openly acknowledges the strength of the English cricket team, expressing their potential to achieve a rare feat – becoming the third team, after Australia and West Indies, to secure back-to-back ODI World Cup victories.

“I don’t believe it’s overconfidence to assert that we have a highly talented team,” Stokes conveyed to The Guardian.

Ben Stokes, having come out of retirement for ODIs, will be contributing primarily as a middle-order batsman due to a long-standing knee injury that will prevent him from bowling in this World Cup.

The 32-year-old emphasized that England’s extensive experience in high-stakes matches could give them an advantage over other teams.

“We’re right there in contention. What sets us apart now, I believe, is our familiarity with these monumental encounters – an advantage we hold over teams with fewer such experiences,” he remarked.

Stokes highlighted the distinction between franchise T20 cricket and representing one’s country, emphasizing the immense pressure that comes with international cricket.

“While franchise T20 cricket provides valuable exposure to pressure situations, it can’t replicate the feeling of wearing your nation’s jersey, with billions watching, where a loss means elimination,” he noted.

Stokes played a pivotal role in England’s 2019 World Cup triumph, delivering an all-around performance that was crucial in securing victory in a closely contested final.

“Time has passed, but every time I step onto Lord’s, memories of that day flood back,” Stokes reflected. He specifically recalled the dramatic six hit by Jimmy Neesham during the super over, emphasizing the incredible intensity and unpredictability of the match that went down to the wire.

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