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‘Thank god for technology’ – Ben Stokes on ‘bizarre’ lifeline against West Indies

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ben Stokes, the England all-rounder, was at the centre of a bizarre incident on day one of the final Test against West Indies at the Darren Sammy stadium in St Lucia.

The left-hander walked off after falling to a caught-and-bowled off Alzarri Joseph in the final session of the day.  However, a replay revealed that the pacer had overstepped, which meant that Stokes, who was on 52, was recalled from the dressing room.

“I’ve never been in the changing room and called out to bat again,” Stokes said after the day’s play on Saturday, February 9. “That is a first for me and it’s probably something that they need to get control of. I don’t think in international cricket you should be walking off and being in the changing rooms and then being back out there two minutes later. Thank god for technology.

“I was just sat in my chair with my pads on and then I thought someone had got out because of all the shouting, but then the shout was ‘no-ball and you’re in’ so just bizarre. I had to get myself back into the right frame of mind out there. I had to try and let it go and make sure I was not out at the end of the day.”

Stokes added that he rekindled memories from his knock scored against New Zealand in 2015 and attempted to utilize a similar technique against West Indies in St Lucia. He had scored a 100 in just 87 balls at Lord’s that match.

“I actually looked at some footage of me at Lord’s this morning,” he revealed. “I’ve been thinking about going back to that technique: straightening my feet up and batting with an off-stump guard.

Stokes

Stokes notched scores of 92 and 101 against New Zealand at Lord’s in 2015

“I’ve been working with Mark Ramprakash (the batting coach) on it for the last couple of days. I was just trying to find some levelness: not being too aggressive, but not being too defensive. I thought I had been a bit stuck over the last couple of months. Watching myself at Lord’s did me the world of good.”

Stokes (62*) and Jos Buttler (67*) ensured a good day for England in an otherwise forgettable tour, as both middle-order batters made unbeaten half-centuries to give their side a stronghold in the game. England had reached 231/4 at stumps.

“To come out and put all those wrongs right, we can take a lot of confidence from that,” added Stokes. “I have played with Jos for a long time and we know how to work with each other. We just say the odd word and keep it very simple.”

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