The second Test match between England and West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester belong to one man named Ben Stokes.
After a controversial start to his career, where he was engaged in a brawl outside a pub in Bristol and the 2016 T20 World Cup loss against West Indies in the final, Stokes truly redeemed himself in the last season. Stokes faced the wrath of Carlos Brathwaite’s blade in the last over of the 2016 World T20 as the latter smashed four consecutive sixes.
His glorious summer constituted of the 2019 ODI World Cup final win and a superlative fourth inning knock at the Headingley Test match where he smashed 134*.
Continuing with his rich form in the 2nd Test match against West Indies, Stokes played one of the finest knocks in red-ball cricket, scoring 176, his slowest of the ten centuries.
Then, coming as an opener in the second innings, the Durham stalwart registered the fastest fifty by an English opener in Tests. He scored a rampant 57-ball 78* to help England post a daunting total in front of West Indies.
With the ball, Stokes ended up with three massive wickets, where he picked the main wickets of Shamarh Brooks and Jermaine Blackwood who threatened to stitch game-changing partnerships.
Now, former Indian cricketer, Irfan Pathan has reckoned that Indian team will be unbeatable if they find an all-rounder like Stokes.
In the last couple of decades, the Indian team has been obsessed in their search for a quality fast-bowling all-rounder. The closest they have come across is Hardik Pandya, with the likes of Shivam Dubey and Vijay Shankar in thereabouts.
“Indian cricket will be unbeatable anywhere in the world if they have a match-winning all-rounder like Ben Stokes,” Pathan tweeted after Stokes’ impressive performance in Manchester.