Nasser Hussain has justified Ben Stokes’ retirement from ODIs for being unable to give his all by stating playing under the limit can impact performances in other formats. He cited Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson as examples of the same, before discussing Stokes’ performance against South Africa.
Ben Stokes’ retirement from ODIs at the age of 31 has fuelled discussions about the adverse impacts of playing so much cricket in such jam-packed schedules. The England international had stated he would not be able to play at 100 per cent across all three formats and he does not believe in performing anywhere lower than the limit.
These comments have led to former skipper Nasser Hussain speculating on Stokes’ fear of losing performance in Tests and T20Is as well as a result of ODIs. He used the examples of Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson to show how failures in one format can impact other formats as well, considering the duo has been grossly underperforming recently given their track record and talent.
"Some might suggest 80 per cent of Stokes is enough but the problem is that once you play at 80 per cent, it can lead lead to a drop in performance in another format. Just look at what has happened to Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, for example. He doesn't want to become stale," wrote Hussain in his column for Daily Mail.
Stokes played his last ODI at his home ground in Durham on Tuesday against South Africa. The hosts fell to a crushing 62-run loss, while the Test captain himself struggled for form. He only managed to contribute five runs with the bat and scalped no wickets in his five overs, conceding 44-runs in the process. Hussain observed the 31-year-old was not fully fit, indicating it was a factor in his retirement.
"Compared to years gone by, when he was fully fit, Tuesday was drastically different. After a couple of balls he was limping off towards the side of the pitch, not fully maintaining his momentum through the crease and down it," he said.