“My innings wasn’t a response to the Bairstow’s dismissal, it was a response to…”: Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes, the dynamic English all-rounder, once again demonstrated his extraordinary talent during England’s second innings against Australia. Although his remarkable innings ended in defeat, Stokes’s display of power-hitting and calculated aggression left cricket fans worldwide in awe.

Stokes’s innings were characterized by breathtaking stroke play. He showcased his ability to dominate the opposition and dismantle the bowling attack with one-handed sixes over fine leg and a flurry of nine boundaries. The audacity and precision with which he dispatched the ball to the boundary were a sight to behold.

“I did look back at Headingley, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough (today),” Stokes said.

Stokes’s incredible knock surpassed his legendary innings at Headingley in 2019, where he played a crucial role in guiding England to a historic victory. His 135-run performance in that match will forever be etched in cricketing history. However, despite his immense contribution, Stokes humbly acknowledged that his efforts fell short on this occasion.

Reflecting on his innings, Stokes explained that his focus was not solely on the dismissal of Jonny Bairstow but rather on the overall state of the game. He strategically assessed the conditions and realized that his best scoring option was to take advantage of the slope coming towards him. By defying convention and taking calculated risks, Stokes aimed to nullify the impact of the fielders and maximize his scoring opportunities.

“My innings wasn’t a response to the (Bairstow) dismissal; it was a response to where the game was. I felt my scoring option was batting with the slope coming towards me. I had to be mindful and strategic about the risk I would take and felt my best option was taking the fielders out of play,” Stokes said.

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Stokes’s magnificent innings ended when he top-edged a short ball from Josh Hazlewood, ultimately being caught behind. Even the Australian team, acknowledging his exceptional performance, joined the crowd’s applause as he left the field. Their appreciation highlighted the respect and admiration for Stokes’s skill and tenacity.

Despite Stokes’s heroic efforts, Australia managed to wrap up England’s second innings within an hour, securing a 43-run victory and taking a 2-0 lead in the series. However, Stokes’s extraordinary innings left an indelible mark on the match and further enhanced his legacy as one of cricket’s most exceptional players.

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