Pacer James Anderson believes his teammate Ben Stokes is on his way to becoming the best all-rounder England have ever had in their cricket history. His remark comes as Stokes has now become the world number one all-rounder, dethroning Windies skipper Jason Holder from first place. “He is certainly the best all-rounder I have ever played with, and he is becoming the best all-rounder England have ever had. There is no reason he cannot continue to get even better. With the bat, his average is in the 40s, and with the ball under 30, and he’s taking some spectacular catches. It’s amazing that we have him in our squad, and he’s great to watch.” Anderson said.
“It’s hard to say how good he is because it’s hard to find the words. Joe said the other day that we were in the presence of greatness, and he’s perfect. He goes into any team in as a batsman, as his bowling gets better and better every time he goes. It’s just amazing to have this talent on our team, and to be able to watch it firsthand too was incredible,” he added.
In the second Test against Windies, Stokes was named man of the match. For England, the second Test win was attributed to Stokes’ immense full course of 254 races and three wickets, including Jermaine Blackwood’s key wicket on tea on the final day of the match.
The left-handed batsman had made a 176 stroke in the first inning, while in the second, he scored a quick 78-step shot on just 57 balls. As a result of that batting performance, Stokes also earned third place in the ICC Test batsman rankings.
Heading into the final game of the series against Windies, England has selection puzzles, and it would be interesting to see how England ultimately choose their bowling attack.
Speaking about himself and Broad bowling together, Anderson said, “I would love to think that we will have a lot more games together in the future. Our track record together speaks for itself. Obviously, there will be times in the future where you don’t bowl together, which is already happening in the show and in the last couple of years. But I’d like to think that, if we’re in a situation where we’re both in good shape and where England pick their strongest bowling attack, we’re both in there.”
“You still want to be on this best team. It’s all I’ve ever tried to do, and it’s the same with Stuart. But we have six or seven world class bowlers in this group, so we let’s make sure everyone is in the right place and the right frame of mind to come out and play their best for England if asked,” he added.
Currently, the series between England and the West Indies is leveled at 1-1. If England is to retain the Wisden Trophy, then the team must win the final Test of the series.
The third and final Test will be played in Manchester from Friday, July 24.