Former India off-spinner, Pragyan Ojha has suggested that Rajasthan Royals‘ all-rounder Ben Stokes should be batting in the middle-order where he bats for England. Royals snapped their two-match losing streak on Monday when they defeated Chennai Super Kings by seven wickets.
Ben Stokes, who arrived late in the UAE owing to the health concerns of his father, has played four matches in the IPL this season. Interestingly, he has opened in all four of them. Robin Uthappa has been partnering him at the top for the past couple of games instead of Rajasthan’s regular opener for the last three seasons, Jos Buttler, who now is slotted in the middle-order.
We all are asking the question: Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha is confused about what could be the reasons for batting Ben Stokes at the top and Jos Buttler in the middle order. Ahead of Rajasthan’s clash against Hyderabad on Thursday, Ojha questioned why not bat Stokes in a position where he has been delivering for years.
Pragyan Ojha, speaking to Sports Today on Thursday,“We all are asking the question (Why is Ben Stokes not playing in the middle-order?). Every player, they have played a particular brand of cricket and are comfortable in a particular position. So you have to give them that first. If that doesn’t work, then you change your plan.”
“If you look at all the successful captains, they would give the bowler the freedom to set their plans and execute them and if that doesn’t work, then they pitch step in and give their ideas.”
Ben Stokes has delivered at No.5 and No. 6: Pragyan Ojha
The former India cricketer believes that Stokes should have batted at his natural position, which is at number five or number six, if he doesn’t perform, then they should think of changing. He also says that Rajasthan has a proven opener in Jos Buttler, who has scored runs and won matches at the top of the order in Twenty20 cricket, then why change his position as well.
“So when you know Ben Stokes has delivered at No.5 and No. 6, then why not have him there? You have a great opener with you. It’s not like you don’t have an opener. You have a brilliant opener who is getting you runs, Jos Buttler. Why change your positions?”
Rajasthan Royals will go head to head with Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday in Dubai. It is an important game in the context of the tournament; if the Royals win, they will move to the fourth position displacing Kolkata Knight Riders.