#NewsBytesExplainer: Is Stokes the greatest all-rounder in modern day cricket?
International cricket has seen several eras wherein the sumptuous crop of all-rounders made merry. If 1980s was ruled by Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee and Ian Botham, the likes of Jacques Kallis and Andrew Flintoff extended dominance in the following decades. Meanwhile, England's Ben Stokes has taken the lead in modern day cricket. We analyze why Stokes stands out among the active all-rounders.
Stokes has been the nucleus of England's XI
At 28, Ben Stokes already owns 7,043 runs and 231 wickets in international cricket. Notably, he has a terrific record in Test cricket after having amassed 4,056 runs and accounted for 147 scalps. Stokes came back strongly from the Bristol nightclub incident in 2017. He rejoined the England camp a few months later and played a crucial role in the Test series against India.
Stokes headlined the 2019 World Cup
The year 2019 brought in a fresh breeze for Stokes as he stamped his authority across formats. He was the chief architect in England's title-clinching World Cup campaign. His unbeaten 84 led led England to victory in the final against New Zealand. A month later, Stokes pulled off a miraculous Test victory in the Headingley Test of 2019 Ashes.
Stokes achieved the double of 4,000 runs and 100 wickets
Over the years, Stokes has matched with England's veteran all-rounders Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff. His exploits in the Ashes were deemed equivalent to how the two greats destroyed Australia in past. In 2020, he became the second player from England to score 4,000 runs and take 100 wickets in Test cricket, after Botham. Overall, he was the seventh entrant in the elite list.
The breakthrough year for Stokes
In 2019, Stokes amassed 821 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 45.61. He also snapped up 22 wickets. He culminated in ODIs as well, having aggregated 719 runs at 59.91. Following a terrific run, Stokes was named the ICC Cricket of the Year.
Stokes has a giant lead as an all-rounder
Ben Stokes leads the bandwagon of all-rounders in modern era of cricket. Although the cricket pundits drew comparisons with India's Hardik Pandya, Stokes shrugged them off with stupendous display last year. Shakib Al Hasan and Ravindra Jadeja give him a tough competition, but they are more prevalent as bowlers. Nevertheless, Stokes' propensity to win matches for England makes him stand atop as an all-rounder.
Stokes has set the equilibrium with both bat and ball
Stokes holds the second spot in the ICC Test Rankings for all-rounders. Since January 2018, Stokes has racked up 2,772 runs and taken 73 wickets in international cricket (Jadeja - 1,132, 88 and Shakib - 1,855, 75).