Ben Stokes is the best cricketer in the world now: Botham

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29 May 2020 | 07:16 AM
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Ben Stokes is the best cricketer in the world now: Botham

Botham also said that Virat Kohli is the "right guy" to take Indian cricket forward

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Legendary English allrounder Ian Botham says captain Virat Kohli is the "right guy" to take Indian cricket forward but rates Ben Stokes as the world's best player at the moment.

"Virat takes the game to the opposition, he takes a stand for his players. I would have loved to play against him. He is the right guy to take Indian cricket forward," Botham said during an online chat session with Playwrite Foundation.

One of the game's finest allrounders, Botham has represented England with distinction during a stellar career, the highlight of which was heroics in the 1981 Ashes series.

Botham had his take on the debate around the best allrounder between former player Andrew Flintoff and England's World Cup hero Ben Stokes.

"Ben (Stokes) is better than a mile to Freddy (Andrew Flintoff). Ben Stokes is the closest version of me, he plays like me with his heart on his sleeve. Flintoff was good but Stokes is just exceptional. He is the best cricketer in the world now," he said.

Botham, who was part of the famous allrounder quartet of the 1980s along with Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee and Imran Khan, said that he is privileged to have played in that era.

"It was a privilege to play in that era. We spoilt the fans for around 10-15 years. I don't think world cricket has seen so many allrounders rubbing shoulders at the same time.

"In every tour I used to see what Richard has done, what Kaps (Kapil) has done, what Immi (Imran) has done. There was a great rivalry," the former England captain said.

He added, "Allrounders can't be manufactured, they don't grow on trees. The workload is double and it obviously takes a toll on your body.

"Just imagine, Kapil? the amount of bowling he did on those Indian pitches, which had very little to offer, that too in the scorching heat of Chennai and Delhi. I can't see anyone in the present generation being able to do that," Botham said.

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IndiaEnglandVirat KohliBenjamin Andrew StokesAndrew FlintoffIan Terrence Botham

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