Until the fourth T20, Ben Stokes hadn’t got too many balls to face in the ongoing T20 series against India. The English all-rounder, however, made sure he makes it count in the fourth T20 international, played on Thursday.
The English all-rounder played a well-compiled knock of 46 runs in just 23 balls and took England close to winning the game. However, he, unfortunately, got out in the seventeenth over and England eventually fell short of 8 runs.
Indian wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik lauded Stokes for his batting performance on Thursday. While speaking to Sky Sports, Karthik has suggested Ben Stokes play at number three in the batting order, followed by Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan at four and five respectively.
“I have nothing against Malan – I think he’s a good player – but I think Stokes should bat at No 3, with the intent he showed, the way he was taking on the bowlers. If it was Roy, Buttler, Stokes, with Bairstow at No four and Morgan No 5, that’s the way I’d look at it. That looks pretty solid to me.” Karthik said.
David Malan is currently the number one T20 batsman in the world. However, his weakness against spin got exposed in the ongoing series against India. In 4 T20s, he has managed scores of 24*, 24, 18 and 14. One shouldn’t be surprised if the team rests him in the final T20I of the series.
Earlier, former England cricketer, Robert Key also stressed on the fact that England are not fully utilizing the services of Ben Stokes in the side.
“I’m not sure I know the answer to this (on how England can use Ben Stokes better). But I do know is that they are not getting the best out of their best cricketer” Key said on Sky Sports.
“If he’s coming in for the first five overs as an opener, he has got two hundred in that time in the IPL. His game, I think, is more suited to earlier on. His strike rate of 134 at no 6 (in the IPL) does not look too bad, but when you compare that to the best no. 6 in the world in T20 cricket, they are striking at 170-180 or somewhere between that. So we need to find a way somehow to get more out of Ben Stokes.” Key concluded.
England will play the fifth T20I against India on Saturday at the Narendra Modi Stadium.