Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has urged the team management to promote Ben Stokes up the batting order saying that his talents are wasted at no.6 after his effort with the bat in England’s loss in the fifth T20I against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
England failed to chase down the target of 224 runs set by India, despite half-centuries from Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan, who also added 130 runs for the second wicket in the chase. However, once England lost these two and the likes of Jonny Bairstow fell in quick succession, the asking rate became too much for other batters to chase down.
Jonny Bairstow Should Open In T20s, Ben Stokes Should Bat At 4: Kevin Pietersen
Ben Stokes had a below-average T20I series against India, scoring just 84 runs in three innings. With the ball, the all-rounder picked up three wickets while conceding runs at an economy of 8.83. Kevin Pietersen urged the England team to promote Ben Stokes to no.4 in T20Is.
Ben Stokes’ best performance came in the 4th T20I, where he smashed 46 off 23 balls. But that wasn’t enough as the visitors fell short by eight runs in the encounter.
“Ben Stokes is completely wasted at 6 as a batter and bowling part-time. Bairstow in T20’s is an opener. If he doesn’t open, Stokes bats 4,” Pietersen said.
Ben Stokes is completely wasted at 6 as a batter and bowling part time.
Bairstow in T20’s is an opener.
If he doesn’t open, Stokes bats 4!
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) March 20, 2021
He Was The MVP At IPL A Few Years Ago, England Needs To Get More Out Of Ben Stokes: Robert Key
Former England batsman Robert Key shared the sentiments of Kevin Pietersen of getting more out of Ben Stokes as a batsman in the shortest format of the game. He added that Ben Stokes doesn’t look too happy coming in at no.6.
“They need to get more from Stokes. ‘It’s not like he can’t do it; he was the MVP at the Indian Premier League a few years ago. He was the best player during that tournament. ‘He can play T20 cricket. But somehow, they need to get him more involved. It’s very hard for Stokes. He can bat early on when the field is up in the powerplay and then destroy sides. ‘He doesn’t strike me as someone happy to come in with five overs to go at No 6,’” Key opined.
England lost the 5-match T20I series 3-2 despite leading 2-1 at one point.