In the T20 World Cup, Ben Stokes is scheduled to bat at No. 4, but is that position under threat? “Stokes hasn’t played much T20 for a while, but it’s a big event and he is a big-game player with a big-game attitude,” says Michael Atherton of Sky Sports Cricket.
Will Ben Stokes definitely play for England at the T20 World Cup?
To even raise the possibility of questioning the standing of a man who has guided England’s Test comeback, played those innings at Headingley and Lord’s in 2019, and is capable of winning games with both the bat and the ball feels sacrilegious.
But because of injuries, a hiatus from the game, and Test obligations, Stokes has played the T20 format sparingly over the past few years and has failed to reach the half-century mark in 29 T20 international innings.
On the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, host Ian Ward, colleagues Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton, as well as CricViz’s Freddie Wilde, discussed the role that Stokes will play in Australia, where he is expected to bat at No. 4.
Use the player above to listen to the podcast or find it wherever you get your podcasts.
Atherton, a former England captain, said: “Stokes is a lock to win. He hasn’t played much T20 in a while, but this is a major event, and he is a player who thrives on the pressure of big matches.”
For the reasons Athers cited as well as the fact that I believe Stokes is well-suited to Australian conditions given his pace and bounce, Wilde said, “I think England will start with Stokes. However, if he plays a few quiet games and Sam Curran is on the bench, which is a possibility, that argument will gain some traction.
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Should Stokes be opening for England?
“It’s a close call since Curran has travelled the world and excelled while Stokes has played very little T20 cricket in the past 18 months. It’s a live discussion.
“Stokes, who played for Rajasthan Royals alongside Jos Buttler in the IPL, might have been deployed at the top of the order if I could go back in time and make judgments for England six months or a year ago. The left-hand-right combination of Stokes and Buttler provided many solutions.
“Because England chose not to go that path, they are currently attempting to move Stokes up the order, where he is more effective. Stokes can only be brought in at No. 4 because the top three spots are already secured by Buttler, Alex Hales, and Dawid Malan.
Because he likes pace and bounce as a batter, I believe he will still perform admirably in this World Cup, but the middle order position will be a genuine test of his abilities.
Will Livingstone play for England?
Before the team’s opening World Cup match against Afghanistan on October 22 Liam Livingstone is hoping to be healthy for England’s final pre-tournament match against Pakistan on October 17.
Livingstone has been sidelined since August due to an ankle injury, and Harry Brook excelled in Pakistan during his absence, being the visitors’ leading run-scorer in the 4-3 series victory.
According to Hussain, Livingstone “He should play some cricket, in my opinion, but he joins my team just because of the dynamics of someone entering the lineup later in the order.
“Everyone told us not to worry about our No. 7 because they only face seven deliveries when we first started playing T20. Instead, we were advised to use the extra bowler.
However, having a No. 7 like Kieron Pollard, Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Stokes, or whoever gives you that extra batting depth and means that the top six can definitely go for it.
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Also on the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast
– Does England have a problem with death bowling?
– Could West Indies lose in the opening round?
– Will India bat more aggressively as a result of Jasprit Bumrah’s injury?
– Who are the front-runners in a “open” competition?
– Is South Africa the underdog?