The second Test match between England and West Indies turned out to be a ‘Ben Stokes show’. Arguably the best all-rounder in the world, Stokes’ three-dimensional prowess lifted the English team to draw level in the three-match series.
England was precariously placed at 81-3, with captain Joe Root back in the hut, when Stokes arrived at the crease in the first innings.
He then stitched a vital partnership of 260 runs with opener Dominic Sibley (120) who brought up his second Test ton.
Stokes notched up his slowest Test hundred and then accelerated in the second half of his 176-run knock. In the second innings, Stokes opened the innings and registered the fastest fifty by an English opener during his 57-ball 78*.
During the post-match conference, captain Root tagged the marquee all-rounder as ‘Mr. Incredible’.
“Everyone understands we are watching a player at the peak of his powers, at the peak of world cricket. Without trying to pump his tyres too much, we are in the presence of greatness,” Root told Sky Sports.
“He’s a genuinely an all-round player, something that you don’t see in world cricket. You see guys who have certain strengths, either batting or bowling. But he’s someone you can turn to in any situation,” he added.
With the ball, he picked up three wickets in the match, continuing with his reputation as a partnership-breaker. Stokes picked the wicket of dangerous-looking Jermaine Blackwood (55) in the second innings, who already accumulated 100 runs for the fifth wicket.
“He’s got so many different skills that he brings to the team, He’s played a role for us this game with the ball. You can use him in a completely different way as well,” the 29-year old added further.
“He just seems to get better and better. I think one thing that this game showed more than others is his ability to read different situations. He can do so many roles with the bat. You look at the rest of the game – his impact with the ball. He made something happen when nothing was,” Root concluded.