After another match-winning display, Ben Stokes admitted that he went in with the same mentality that helped them get across the line against Mumbai Indians earlier - go hard against the new ball. He also stated that he cuts down on his bowling in the break to remain fresh for the next game.
Prior to the previous fixture against Mumbai Indians, the Royals were struggling to make pace at the top of the order, with English all-rounder Ben Stokes being the major culprit. Stokes' slow yet unstable innings put too much pressure on the rest of the batting order, which lost them the game against Sunrisers. However, ever since that, the all-rounder has accelerated his batting, including getting off to a quick-start early on in the innings.
Against Punjab, chasing 186, Stokes got off the mark immediately, with a boundary in the very first over. It was in the third and fourth over of the innings, where he quickly shifted gears, taking his strike-rate to above 200. When he was dismissed, he exited the pitch, with a 26-ball 50, which gave the much-need impetus to the Royals batting unit. In the end, his performance combined with Sanju Samson’s efforts took them home comfortably.
In the post-match presentation, Stokes admitted that he went in with a ‘hit the ball hard’ approach and with the same mentality that he went in the clash against Mumbai Indians. In both occasions for the Royals, they ended up on the winning side following his swashbuckling innings.
“I think when you are in a position like we are, you have nothing to lose. We are still hanging in. That is pleasing. The sixes are always pleasing. I went in the same mentality like I did against MI. Wanted to go hard with the new ball. We had a decent break from the last game,” said Stokes in the post-match presentation.
However, Stokes revealed that it was that shot in the innings, which he didn’t expect to travel to the boundary which gave him the needed confidence. On top of that, having bowled extremely well today, with figures of 2/32, Stokes admitted that he cuts down on the bowling part to remain fresh for the next game.
“It's that shot you don't expect to go to the boundary, that sort of a short gives me confidence and gives the feeling it's going to be a good outing. We normally have a quick turnaround. I cut down on the bowling part in the break to remain fresh.”