After winning the crucial second Test of the three-match home Test series against West Indies at Manchester, English Test captain Joe Root highly praised the all-rounder Ben Stokes, who won the Player of the Match award for his incredible all-round performances.
England started this Test by trailing this series by 1-0, and they were sent to bat first by the visitors. Opener Dom Sibley and Test vice-captain Ben Stokes batted very patiently in the first innings which helped the hosts to score 469/9 declared. While Sibley scored 120 runs off 372 balls (5 fours), Stokes played the incredible knock of 176 runs off 356 balls (17 fours and 2 sixes).
In reply, West Indies were bowled out for 289 runs, thanks to the pacers Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes‘ domination with the second new ball. Stokes (1/29) also managed to pick up one wicket in that innings and it was the crucial wicket of the opener and Caribbean Test vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite (75).
While the left-handed batsman Stokes scored his slowest Test century in the first innings, he came to bat as an opener in the second innings and smashed the fastest Test fifty by an English opener (50 off 36 balls). Stokes scored 78 not out off 57 balls (4 fours and 3 sixes) as England scored 129/3 declared in 19 overs of their second innings.
While the West Indies had the target of 312 runs, England bundled out the visitors for just 198 runs as the hosts won by 113 runs. Once again Stokes played an important role in the fourth innings as he bagged two wickets (2/30). In that innings, he dismissed the set batsman Jermaine Blackwood (55) and lower-order batsman Alzarri Joseph (9). Undoubtedly, Stokes was chosen for the Player of the Match award.
Ben Stokes is Mr Incredible: Joe Root
After that match, Joe Root highly praised his deputy. The English Test captain called Stokes as Mr Incredible. Root is confident to see more this kind of great performances from Stokes.
Root said according to ESPNcricinfo, “He’s Mr Incredible. I suppose. He looks a bit like him, and will probably end up the same shape too. I certainly think he can keep performing at this level. I think the sky’s the limit for him really when you watch how he goes about things, there’s no reason why he can’t keep performing this consistently.”
Root also lauded Stokes’ impressive batting performances in this Test while the English team had totally two different situations.
The English Test captain added, “To have such a complete game, and so many different gears at your disposal allows you the ability to keep getting better. But most importantly, if he continues to read situations the way he is and keeps the confidence that he’s playing with at the moment, there’s no reason why we can’t continue to see such brilliant performances as we have done this week, and over the last 12 months really.”
While the Test series is now 1-1, the last Test of this series will begin on 24th July at Manchester.