English all-rounder and RR opener Ben Stokes has revealed that he is relishing opening the batting and that's something he wanted to do even before the season started. He also added that opening the batting for England is very difficult with the likes of Hales, Roy, Bairstow and Banton in there.
Rajasthan Royals opener Ben Stokes played his best knock of the season in a do-or-die encounter against Mumbai in Abu Dhabi, making an unbeaten ton in a winning a cause. In a big chase against the quality bowling attack of MI, which had the likes of James Pattinson, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar, nothing less than a Stokes special would have sealed RR's fate. The southpaw had shown great intent right from the start, and it was his second hundred in the lucrative league. He was having a dry spell with the bat in lead up to the game with many questions raised on him opening the batting ahead of Jos Buttler.
The star English all-rounder revealed how he was having conversations with head coach Andrew McDonald and team management about opening the batting this season even before IPL 2020 commenced. Stokes added that he wanted to gradually ease into the role, which he is really enjoying at the moment.
"Yeah, I'm really enjoying this new role. I'd had conversations with Macca really long ago now, the IPL usually happens earlier in the year, so we had discussions even before that. I'm really enjoying the new role. It's something that I've sort of always wanted to slowly and gradually get into," Stokes told ANI, reported TOI.
Stokes also outlined that it is very difficult to open the batting for England in T20 internationals with many options already in there in what is a star-studded top-order.
"In the England team, it's very tough with the amount of quality of batsmen we've got, like Jason Roy, Tom Banton, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales and all these guys who're all opening batsmen, so it's a very hard place to get into. So yeah, really enjoying the opportunity and responsibility I've been given here at the Royals," he said.
Rajasthan Royals has one of the best foreign contingent in the league. Generally, the four foreign slots are occupied by the likes of Stokes, Buttler, Smith and Archer. Stokes asserted that the squad has great foreign contingent depth, which has put someone as destructive as David Miller waiting for his chances as he has played just a game this season.
"I think that proves that the squad we have got, just the depth and the versatility we have got is incredible when someone like David Miller has played one game this year. He is one of the most destructive batters in the world and would play in any other IPL team. He has got a great T20 record and can hurt teams.
RR have won five games after 12 games, losing seven, thus far. Their foreign contingent, despite some big names, have failed to perform as per the expectations with the exception of Jofra Archer. Stokes admitted that the side hasn't showed enough consistency this season.
"We haven't performed to the potential we have and we know that as a group. We have shown that in phases in the tournament and haven't been able to do it on a consistent basis. That is what the best teams are able to. We are a young team and every year I have come back, things are improving and things are going the right way with RR. Who knows next year or year after that might be our year," he pointed.