Ben Stokes is the most sought-after cricketer at the moment across the world. Born in New Zealand,
New Zealand England are lucky to have him. Four years ago, England were on the verge of winning a second T20 World Cup only before the last over they had things in control. With 19 runs required off the last over, everyone would have fancied their chances with England. But West Indies chased the score in four balls courtesy a 6, 6, 6, 6 by Carlos Brathwaite. Who was the bowler? Ben Stokes.
Last English summer, Ben Stokes had played the two most important innings of his life. In July, he helped England win the final of the ICC World Cup, the first prestigious trophy for England, against his born-nation, and then in August, he helped England to win a 1-wicket nail-bitter Test match against the Australians in the 3rd Ashes Test match.
Ben Stokes is playing for Rajasthan Royals this IPL and hasn’t been featured in any of the team’s games. This year, in July he was given by ECB a leave for an indefinite time to spend time with his family in New Zealand after the diagnosis of the brain cancer of his father. After that, he didn’t feature in any of England’s remaining fixtures and missed the initial part of the IPL.
Royals performance in the IPL
Ben Stokes had arrived in UAE last week and is currently serving his six-day mandatory quarantine period. In his absence, his team had won two matches and lost three. They are currently second from the bottom with only 4 points. Rajasthan Royals started their IPL campaign in a brilliant fashion winning the opening two matches and scored 200+ in both of them. However, after those two wins, the team fail to win any further match. They are currently on a three-match losing streak and in desperate need of a win as the tournament is now in its middle stages.
Royals played their first two matches in Sharjah and won both of them. In the first of those, they scored 216 and defended. In the second match, they chased down mighty 223 to register the second win. The next three matches they played outside Sharjah and lost all of them. Now, they’ll again meet up Capitals in Sharjah.
Royals will play their next match on September 9 against Delhi Capitals at Sharjah. Capitals are high in confidence as they are sitting on the second position on the table and are at 8 points with four wins in five matches.
Overseas players for Royals
The overseas players that have made it to the playing XI include; Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, and David Miller. Miller had only one outing so far in which he was run out without facing a ball. Buttler, who missed the initial match after arriving with his family in the UAE for which he served additional quarantine, Smith, Archer, and Curran have been the regulars for Royals and all have made contributions to the team on their behalf.
Who makes way for Stokes?
Steve Smith is the captain, Jos Buttler is the wicket-keeper, and Jofra Archer is the death-over specialist, that only leaves one unfortunate name and that is Tom Curran. Curran, a cunny bowler and a handy lower-order batsman, is the most likely to make way for Stokes. The team is in desperate need of wins and Stokes is a match-winner on his own. His bowling and batting skills will allow Smith to go after the batsmen and chase the big totals.
With the experience of playing in tense and tough situations, Stokes will help his team to gain a better balance. The team have plenty of match-winners but missing some sort of click which Stokes might provide and Royals start winning again.