Ben Stokes turns 32: A look at England Test skipper's exquisite performances in international cricket
Stokes made his first international appearance for England in an ODI match against Ireland In 2011.
England Test captain Ben Stokes has established himself as one of the world's most outstanding all-rounders throughout the years. The strength of his willow, along with his ability to inflict significant damage with lethal deliveries, persuaded the England Cricket Board (ECB) to name him full-time captain of England's men's Test cricket squad. Stokes made his first international appearance for England in an ODI match against Ireland In 2011.
The English all-rounder has excelled in every aspect of the game. He has played 92 Tests and 105 One-Day Internationals for England, scoring 5,712 and 2,924 runs in each format. On his 32nd birthday today, let's take a ride through the England all-rounder's top performances:
ICC Champions Trophy 2017 (102 runs off 109 deliveries vs Australia): Ben Stokes and Eoin Morgan pushed hard on Mitchel Starc and Josh Hazlewood's bowling attack in a key group stage clash in the 2017 Champions Trophy. Chasing 278 runs, the duo's combined efforts propelled the team to the semi-finals, as Stokes finally achieved his maiden ODI century after a 45-match wait. He smashed 13 boundaries and two maximums in the innings.
Bangladesh Test Tour 2016 (4 for 26, 2 for 20 and 85 runs vs Bangladesh): Stokes' ability in the white jersey was demonstrated to everyone during the Test series against Bangladesh. He took four wickets in the first innings and then hammered 85 runs in the second to help set the Tigers a massive target of 285 runs. When Bangladesh was on the verge of triumph, Stokes came in and scalped two quick wickets in three balls to take his team to win.
ICC Cricket World Cup final 2019 (84 runs vs New Zealand): The best of his white-ball innings came in the final stage of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup at Lord's. England was 4-down at 86 with a target of 242 runs when Stokes and Jos Buttler joined forces to guide the innings. Until Buttler departed the crease, the pair had a 110-run partnership. Stokes held his nerve against Trent Boult in the final over, smashing two sixes. The game was tied at the end. After the super over concluded with an equal score, England won on the basis of the boundary count.
Ashes 2019 (135 runs vs Australia): Stokes will always remember the third Ashes Test in 2019. He went on to launch a counter-attack and showcase some magnificent strikes after scoring 3 runs off 72 balls. He not only scored a century but also assisted England in their first-ever 350-run chase in a Test match.
South Africa Test Tour 2020 (3 wickets for 35 runs vs South Africa): South Africa's Ben Stokes proved dangerous in the final half of the New Year Test at Newlands. The English bowling attack had reduced the Proteas to 237/7 in the fourth innings while defending 438 runs when Stokes finished the job. He bowled Dwaine Pretorius and Anrich Nortje in two consecutive deliveries, using a combination of pace, reverse swing, and additional bounce. When the English camp was under strain, Stokes struck the final nail in the coffin by dismissing Vernon Philander. England won the game with just a few minutes remaining before the end of the day. (ANI)
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