Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes smashed an unbeaten 60-ball 107 against Mumbai Indians on Sunday to help his team chase a massive 196-run target in Abu Dhabi. Questions were being raised on the new role of Ben Stokes as he was failing to convert his starts in his last 5 maches ahead of the MI clash.
Stokes partnered for 152 unbeaten runs with Sanju Samson to give RR a 8-wicket thumping win over the 4-time champions. Stokes’ glittery innings consisted of 14 fours and 3 sixes.
With the innings Ben Stokes shut the critics in style but in a recent podcast he has revealed that opening the innings was something he has always wanted to do.
Competition for opening slot tough in England squad
Ben Stokes in a BBC podcast stated that he has always tried to work his way up the order but in the presence of openers like Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy it becomes a tough task.
“Obviously, it’s a different role then I am used to doing in T20 cricket, I have spent most of my time in the middle-order but I have always tried to get myself up the order which is very tough to do in the England team because of presence of players like Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy. It’s a very, very tough place to try and get into but I have really enjoyed the freedom that you have at the top of the order,” Stokes said while talking about his role as an opener in RR squad.
Further, Ben Stokes said that decision to open for Rajasthan was not a random one, adding that coach Andrew McDonald had wanted him to open since the very beginning of the year. The star all-rounder reckoned that Powerplay overs in the IPL 2020 are very important because of the slowing nature of the wicket which makes scoring difficult against the spinners. Ben Stokes has “enjoyed” his role of trying to take the game away from the oppositions in the starting 6 overs when only 2 fielders are allowed outisde the 30-yard circle.
“The IPL was not normally out this time in the calendar but this was the conversation which Andrew McDonald (Rajasthan Royals coach) had this time. This was the role he wanted me to do if we were to be playing the IPL at normal time. So, it wasn’t like spare of a moment decision. It was talked about for a while and once I got here McDonald was so keen to see me fill the role.
“Only 2 fielders are out and you have more times to build the innings. This time in the tournament I realise the Powerplays are big crucial in winning the game. The wicket slows down and it’s difficult to score against the spinners. Being at the top and trying to force the game in the first 6 overs, I have really enjoyed,” Ben Stokes said.
Rajasthan Royals, who are left with 2 league stage matches, have 10 points from 12 games and are placed 6th on the.