ICC World T20 2022 | Jos Buttler is clear that Ben Stokes is a stop-four player, reveals Matthew Mott
Ben Stokes has featured in just 34 T20Is for England since his debut in 2011|
Matthew Mott has confirmed that Ben Stokes will be promoted up the batting order in the upcoming T20 World Cup considering the skipper's belief in him and the pitches in Australia. He went on to discuss Harry Brook's breakthrough performances against Pakistan and Mark Wood's return from injury.
England's white-ball revolution under the helm of Eoin Morgan saw them win their first ever ODI World Cup in 2015 but the team could not repeat the same result in the shorter format of the game. They did reach the final in 2016 when Ben Stokes infamously conceded four sixes in the final over to cost his team a chance for their first T20 title since 2010. Nevertheless, the all-rounder has since evolved into one of the world's best and is currently his country's red-ball captain as well. However, over the years, he has managed to rack up just 34 T20I appearances and has failed to impress much, averaging a paltry 20 with the bat.
England coach Matthew Mott believes the reason behind those numbers is the fact that 25 of those innings have come at five, six, and seven respectively, not allowing Stokes to unleash his full batting potential.
"One of the things that's been said for a while is that he hasn't had a clear role. And Jos in particular is clear that he's a top-four player. Those conditions in Australia will suit the way he plays. You always have a bit of flexibility with the batting but he will be expected to be higher in the innings," Mott was quoted saying by India Today.
Stokes' move up the order perhaps leaves the number five spot vacant for the emerging Harry Brook who has had a stellar run since his debut earlier in the year. In 11 T20Is, he already has 303 runs striking at over 150 and maintaining an average of 43.28. The 23-year-old was exceptional in the recently concluded seven-match series against Pakistan, earning himself the player of the series award.
"He'd have to go pretty close, I think. It depends on what balance we go with - whether we go with an extra batter or an extra all-rounder. But he couldn't have done any more to push his case in this series," Mott said on the youngster.
A big positive for England ahead of the marquee event beginning October 22 Down Under is the return of Mark Wood who had been out with an elbow injury since the Caribbean tour in March. The right-arm quick played in only two T20Is against Pakistan but managed three-wicket hauls in both and will be key to his team's plans.
"We probably talked him out of playing, to be honest. He always wants to play but we didn't want to take that risk. He's one of those bowlers, the X-factor bowler. A bit like Jos, he could maybe have played the back end of the series but those two guys are hard to replace so we're trying to box a bit smarter and not take the risk on what is going to be a long campaign," Mott concluded.