Last Update on: May 20th, 2023 at 11:08 pm
Allan Border, the renowned former Australian captain, has expressed his skepticism regarding the idea of promoting Ben Stokes, the English all-rounder, to open the innings in the upcoming Ashes series in 2023. Border believes that Ben Stokes, being a versatile player, should continue to occupy a spot in the middle order rather than taking on the responsibility of opening the batting.
The Times recently reported that England have contemplated elevating their captain up the batting order for the highly anticipated Ashes series against Australia. The intention behind this move is to sustain the aggressive and dynamic brand of cricket that the English team have exhibited over the past 18 months.
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However, during an interview with Fox Cricket, Border emphasized that the 31-year-old Ben Stokes possesses exceptional skills as a match-winner and can adapt his batting approach to suit the team’s requirements.
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He expressed reservations about subjecting Ben Stokes to the challenges posed by facing the new ball when it is not necessary, considering the all-rounder’s ability to excel from any batting position.
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Ben Stokes Is Such A Good Player: Allan Border
Border cited the 2019 Ashes series as evidence of Ben Stokes’ potency lower down the order, where he played a pivotal role in England’s triumph. Stokes’ ability to influence the game while batting with the tail was evident, as he showcased his aggressive stroke play and also displayed the composure to anchor the innings when needed.
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“Stokes is such a good player. I don’t know whether I’d be throwing him into that situation. Why expose him to the new ball when you don’t have to? He can win games from anywhere I suppose, but we saw in (2019) how dangerous he is down the order and with the tail.”
“I wouldn’t be fiddling with Ben Stokes’ position in the batting lineup. … he can bat with the tail; he can up the ante; he can hold up an end if he needs to, put the block on. He’s a quality player that guy.”
Given Ben Stokes’ versatility, Border firmly stated his belief in maintaining the all-rounder’s position in the middle order, highlighting his capacity to bat alongside the lower-order batsmen, accelerate the scoring rate, and even play a defensive role if necessary. Border showered praise on Stokes, describing him as a player of exceptional quality.
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Ben Stokes was the leading run-scorer for England during the 2019 Ashes series, amassing an impressive total of 441 runs in five Tests at an average of 55.13. Additionally, he also contributed with eight wickets, showcasing his effectiveness as a seam-bowling all-rounder.
As the speculation regarding Ben Stokes’ potential promotion in the batting order continues to swirl, Allan Border’s opinion carries weight due to his extensive experience and understanding of the game. Whether England decide to heed his advice and preserve Stokes’ role in the middle order or pursue a different strategy will unfold when the Ashes 2023 series kicks off.
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