England in the presence of Stokes' 'greatness' says Root

back icon
safari
21 Jul 2020 | 07:29 AM
authorAFP

England in the presence of Stokes' 'greatness' says Root

Stokes laid the platform for a 113-run victory that saw England level the three-match series at 1-1 with 176 in a first innings of 469-9 declared

heart

Share

England captain Joe Root said his side was in "the presence of greatness" following all-rounder Ben Stokes' latest commanding display in Monday's (20 July) second Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford.

Stokes laid the platform for a 113-run victory that saw England level the three-match series at 1-1 with 176 in a first innings of 469-9 declared.

Stokes was required to bat carefully in difficult conditions, a point underlined by the fact it took him 255 balls to reach his century.

But Stokes' ability to adapt his game to different situations was brilliantly demonstrated during England's second innings when, promoted to open in a search for quick runs, he struck 78 not out off just 57 balls as West Indies were an imposing target of 312 to win.

Stokes' batting alone would have justified the man-of-the-match award he duly received, but he then proved his worth with the ball as well.

The West Indies, having slumped to 37-4, kept the hosts at bay during a fifth wicket stand of exactly 100 between Shamarh Brooks and Jermaine Blackwood.

'Mr Incredible'

But it was paceman Stokes who broke the stand when, during a typically committed stint, he produced a short ball on the stroke of tea that Blackwood could only glove to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

"He's Mr Incredible. I suppose," Root told reporters as he compared Stokes to the cartoon superhero of the same name.

"I certainly think he can keep performing at this level. I think the sky's the limit for him really."

It's one thing to identify the time to up the tempo but another to do that as smoothly as Stokes did in this match, with the 29-year-old Durham star's natural talent now coupled to a heightened tactical awareness. 

"To have such a complete game, and so many different gears at your disposal, allows you the ability to keep getting better," said Root.

The past year has seen Stokes play a key role in England's World Cup final win over his native New Zealand at Lord's before his staggering 135 not out secured a remarkable one-wicket victory over Australia in the third Ashes Test at Headingley.

And Root, back skippering England after missing West Indies' four-wicket win in the first Test -- where Stokes deputised as captain -- to attend the birth of his second child, forecast more of the same from the team's talisman.

"If he continues to read situations the way he is, and keeps the confidence that he's playing with at the moment, there's no reason why we can't continue to see such brilliant performances as we have done this week, and over the last 12 months really.

"I think everyone understands that we are watching a player at the peak of his powers, at the peak of world cricket, delivering time and time again.

"We have to savour that, we have to appreciate that and understand that we are, without trying to pump his tyres too much, in the presence of greatness."

With the finale in a behind closed doors campaign that marks international cricket's return following the coronavirus lockdown starting at Old Trafford on Friday, Stokes gave England a scare when he couldn't complete the 15th over of his bowling spell.  

"It was just my body starting to get really stiff. I'm fine," Stokes insisted. 

"I'll give everything to the team, whatever is asked of me. It's a case of doing what's needed at the time."

heart
shareGray Share
Tags
EnglandJoseph Edward RootBenjamin Andrew StokesWest Indies tour of England, 2020England vs West Indies - 2nd Test - The Wisden Trophy, 2020

Related Articles

safari
REPORT
Root's double ton piles agony on India
The England skipper slammed 218 as England moved to 555/8 at the end of day two
userHardik Worah
06 Feb 2021
safari
NEWS
England delay Stokes decision ahead of Pakistan opening Test
If Stokes can bowl, England could add him to the attack that played in the West Indies finale
userAFP
04 Aug 2020
safari
NEWS
No cricketer in world is even close to Stokes: Gambhir
The 29-year-old England all-rounder has been in top form in the ongoing Test series against the West Indies
userPTI
26 Jul 2020
safari
NEWS
Stokes to follow Root advice and captain 'his way'
Vice-captain Stokes, will lead the side in Root's absence who is absent due to the impending birth of his second child
userAFP
07 Jul 2020
safari
NEWS
Stokes 'proud' as England captaincy looms into view
Vice-captain Stokes could find himself leading out the team for next week's first Test at Southampton -- or later in the three-match series -- should Root be absent attending the birth of his second child
userAFP
30 Jun 2020
safari
OPINION
Ben Stokes and second chances
On Ben Stokes' birthday, here's looking back at his two most memorable performances from 2019
userNitin Fernandes
04 Jun 2020
safari
NEWS
'Unbelievable': Stokes hails breathtaking triumph
"It’s one of the two best feelings I’ve ever felt on a cricket pitch," said Stokes
userAFP
26 Aug 2019
safari
ANALYSIS
Stokes's stunning century sees England to one-wicket win in Ashes thriller
The England all-rounder scored an unbeaten 135 to guide his team to a 1-wicket win
userAFP
25 Aug 2019
safari
ANALYSIS
The unflappable, extraordinary Mr Stokes
England's all-round superstar has come a full circle
userArjun Ganesh
20 Aug 2019
safari
NEWS
'Not my best catch,' insists Stokes
All-rounder shines with sparkling performance in England's opening win
userAFP
31 May 2019
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved