IPL 2018: Chris Woakes Backs Misfiring Rajasthan All-Rounder Ben Stokes
One of the biggest names in IPL auction was English all-rounder, Ben Stokes. The highly talented Stokes was the most sought-after player in the auctions, thanks to his incredible heroics in IPL 2017.
Stokes was amongst the best run getters and was quite effective with the ball for Rising Pune Super Giant in previous IPL season. It had made him the most valuable player of the season last summer and got him a massive ₹12.5 crore IPL contract.
However, all has not gone well for Ben Stokes this season with Rajasthan Royals. Maybe the high expectations or an added pressure, Stokes had never looked home at Jaipur. The 26-year old failed miserably with the ball and was okay with the bat after getting only one half-century so far.
He has not fired yet but his English teammate, Chris Woakes had backed Stokes for the remainder of the season. Woakes thinks Stokes could still play a role in helping Rajasthan Royals qualify for the playoffs.
“He is a world-class player,” Woakes told reporters on Friday.
“Probably has not played as well as he would have liked throughout the tournament but I never write him off.
“Still four games left and more if they qualify. He’s a fantastic player. If you slip off your game against him, he will punish you,” the Royal Challengers Bangalore player added.
Jos Buttler Reveals Reason For Stokes’ Position Change
The team needs to win the remainder of their games to stand a chance of qualifying for the playoffs this season.
Despite his woeful form, Stokes was sent as an opener in their game against Chennai Super Kings, and the call didn’t seem to pay off.
But the southpaw could not deliver the goods once again inside the power play overs. On the other hand, English batsman, Jos Buttler was on a roll against Chennai. His unbeaten 95 guided Rajasthan to a much-needed win against heavyweights Chennai Super Kings on Friday.
Buttler has revealed Shane Warne has told Stokes to bat inside the power play overs due to a hamstring issue.
“(Rajasthan mentor) Shane Warne sort of said ‘why don’t you go at the top and play with some freedom and try and see if that comes off’ because he felt like he was going to find it hard in the middle with his running,” explained Buttler.
Jos Buttler was quite effective with the bat and has now scored four consecutive fifties in IPL 2018. However, he will need more support from other top-order batsmen to win their last three games.