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Whether he is good, bad or indifferent, you simply cannot ignore Ben Stokes.
So often England’s talisman, it is a well-worn cliche that Stokes ‘makes things happen’. But it also rings true.
On Wednesday, despite struggling for batting form on his return to the England Twenty20 team, he once again showed he can change the course of a match – whether through sheer force of will or moments of cricketing genius.
Back in the T20 side for the first time since March 2021, the 31-year-old’s two innings so far have been scratchy and short-lived, scoring just nine and seven.
His innings in the first match stymied England’s momentum, which seems remarkable to say when you compare his momentum-seizing approach to Test cricket this summer.
And after he was bowled attempting to heave leg-spinner Adam Zampa out of the ground in the second match on Wednesday, the Test Match Special commentary team began to consider what many thought unthinkable: does Stokes deserve his place in the T20 team?
“That’s hardly the sort of innings that will fill the selectors with confidence,” said Henry Morean. “Stokes may be England’s Test captain but in T20 cricket there is no certainty he will be in the England side for the start of the World Cup.”
Daniel Norcross added: “Ben Stokes is not really a quick starter in T2
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