Former captain Nasser Hussain expressed admiration for Ben Stokes, who delivered a record-breaking performance by scoring 182 runs off 124 balls in England’s resounding 181-run victory over New Zealand in the third ODI. Hussain hailed Stokes as one of the premier batters in England, spanning all cricket formats.
Stokes showcased his brilliance by striking 15 fours and nine sixes during his remarkable innings, establishing a new record for the highest individual ODI score by an English batter in men’s ODIs. Additionally, he formed a crucial partnership of 199 runs off 165 deliveries with Dawid Malan (96) for the third wicket.
Hussain shared his admiration, stating, “Stokes is an extraordinary cricketer, truly exceptional. There were questions about his return, but for me, it was an absolute no-brainer. Even if he couldn’t bowl, he remains one of the finest batters our nation has produced, regardless of the format.”
Stokes also achieved his fastest ODI century, reaching the milestone in just 76 balls, captivating the audience at The Oval with an exhibition of aggressive and dynamic cricket. Hussain highlighted the influence of experienced leaders within the team, noting, “This is the result of having a squad filled with senior figures, including several cricketers with ample experience, especially leading up to a World Cup. They refuse to take a step back.”
“Stokes hasn’t always batted at number four, and one advantage of coming in at 13-2 is that he had more time to settle and executed his innings flawlessly. His power, particularly on the leg-side, has always been evident. He was striking the ball with the same ferocity he’s known for, and I believe other teams, including New Zealand, can learn from his approach,” added Hussain.
Stokes’ spectacular return to ODI cricket, following his initial retirement from the format last year, garnered admiration from legendary Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara. Sangakkara noted, “Stokes has taken the lead, providing inspiration and setting an example for others to follow. One of his crucial roles is to motivate and lead by example.”
“He has performed exceptionally well, and England, despite a sluggish start, had one of their top four batters set the tone. England reaffirmed their approach and commitment to their style of play,” Sangakkara remarked.