After his first couple of matches, it seemed like we won’t witness English all-rounder Ben Stokes‘ magic this season in the IPL. He wasn’t bowling much and was struggling in his role atop the order. But Stokes put the slow start behind and smashed a terrific ton against Mumbai Indians to take Rajasthan Royals home by 8 wickets in a must-win game. The knock proved the team management’s decision to back the star all-rounder right.
I’ve sort of always wanted to open
Stokes shares that he always wanted to open the innings but never got a chance in England’s star-studded lineup. He adds that he had talked about his new role with coach Andrew McDonald long ago before the season even started. And is enjoying the new responsibility thoroughly.
“Yeah, I’m really enjoying this new role. I’d had conversations with Macca (Andrew McDonald) really long ago now, the IPL usually happens earlier in the year, so we had discussions even before that. I’m really enjoying the new role. It’s something that I’ve sort of always wanted to slowly and gradually get into,” Stokes told ANI.
“In the England team, it’s very tough with the amount of quality of batsmen we’ve got, like Jason Roy, Tom Banton, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales and all these guys who’re all opening batsmen, so it’s a very hard place to get into. So yeah, really enjoying the opportunity and responsibility I’ve been given here at the Royals,” he said.
Got to focus on the next game
Stokes is glad that the team management backed him when he was struggling in the early matches and it clearly paid off. The 29-year-old shares that the key is to focus on performing well in your next game no matter how you perform today. And it has helped him a lot throughout his career.
“Having the backing from people making decisions is obviously a big help. Played a lot of cricket and I understand myself as a person now and don’t let it get me down too much. The saying you are as good as your next game is brilliant. Whether you do well or badly, you still got to focus on the next game. If you do well one game doesn’t mean you will do well the next game,” he explained.
RR face KXIP today in a very crucial game of the season. The result will not only decide the fate of the playing sides but also that of low ranked SRH and KKR, whose the playoff hopes are attached with the game.