Former England Test captain Joe Root has praised the return of Ben Stokes to the preliminary England ODI World Cup squad, hailing him as the best player the country has ever produced. Stokes’ inclusion has garnered significant attention within the cricket community, especially given his remarkable contributions to England’s victories in previous World Cup matches.
Root expressed the impact Stokes’ return has on both the team’s morale and their opponents’ perception. He noted that other international teams are likely to be concerned about facing Stokes and the formidable presence he brings to England’s lineup. Root highlighted Stokes’ ability to rise to big moments and his reputation as a proven match-winner.
Root stated, “You know every other international team are looking thinking, ‘Damn, I thought we got rid of him!’ At the same time, it fills the rest of the squad with confidence, knowing you’ve got a proven match-winner who will always seek out those big moments.”
The former England captain further praised Stokes for his contributions in World Cup finals, emphasizing his pivotal role in the team’s victories. Root acknowledged that even in matches where England did not emerge victorious, Stokes still demonstrated a determination to take on significant moments and challenges. Root also reflected on Stokes’ impressive comeback after announcing his retirement from cricket’s shorter formats in 2022. He underscored Stokes’ commitment to the game and his willingness to deliver impactful performances for the team. Stokes’ contributions in the 2019 World Cup, where he scored crucial runs in the final against New Zealand, were highlighted as key moments in England’s success.
Ben Stokes’ outstanding performances across all three formats, particularly his remarkable averages and strike rates in ODIs, were mentioned as factors that make him a vital asset to the team. Root’s praise for Stokes’ contributions and his significance in England’s cricketing history reinforces the anticipation and excitement surrounding Stokes’ return to the ODI setup.
Stokes’ presence is expected to bolster England’s chances in the upcoming ODI World Cup, providing them with a player known for his ability to perform under pressure and deliver match-winning performances.