Ben Stokes shows quality of the great all-rounders in England win – Jonathan Agnew
It’s a mark of the that they have the ability to suddenly step up a degree needed.
Ian Botham had it. Kapil Dev had it. Richard Hadlee had it. And now Ben Stokes has it.
In taking the last three wickets to lead England into a victory over South Africa in the next Test, Stokes showed he has that characteristic.
Even the greats have something in them that enables them win a match and to develop a gear.
Stokes needed to do it five at Newlands.
James Anderson was hurt, Stuart Broad was not quite bowled outside but’d put a lot of work in, and England wanted somebody to operate in hard and bowl at a manner to the decrease order.
He ended it off with the chunk but when he struck on a 72 off 47 balls, his next innings with the bat, was essential.
The time that he bought England like that actually played a part by playing.
If Stokes had not played skilfully and selflessly to help his side reach a location where they could declare after lunch on day four, england might not have had the overs to spare on day five.
Stokes is an outstanding person who clearly adores the sport.
He pushes his body and can be a team guy – he got from Dom Sibley creating his maiden Test century because Sibley failed himself.
Stokes has got a lot of distractions in hospital still at the moment along with his dad but he could still turn up, play like that and care so much about his team-mates – that’s a measure of the guy.
He was also brilliant in the field, reward for having worked very hard on their fielding and taking six catches in complete, although England’s catching throughout the match was brilliant.
Joe Root took a good catch to eliminate Dwaine Pretorius and Zak Crawley took that superb one on the rebound, which was casual from somebody playing their second Test match in a vital moment.
It may get you back like England were in later getting bowled out in their innings to 269 if you capture your catches.
England found a way to win although that has been a complete.
It turned out in part down to Anderson’s bowling in taking 5-40 in South Africa’s first innings, colorful slip catching throughout till Stokes could complete it off and chipping away at the hosts at the second innings.
There was something completely absurd about Cricket South Africa putting out a statement on Tuesday saying four-day Test cricket is endorsed by it.
It’s not the ideal method for the game to go.
People who love the game and play with the game understand it’s not the perfect thing to do.
It’s harmful to have mates messing.
It’s similar to dealing with an endangered species. Test cricket needs to be protected and have responsible administrators who will work out a way of cutting it to four times and making five-day cricket feasible, instead of simply taking the easy option.
With four-day Tests, you would not have had the conclusion you would not have had even the pulling and pushing about the moment for ascendancy or the tension of this day.
That’s what Test cricket is. You may as well does it instead of sliced it down.
Four-day Tests aren’t at the game’s greatest interest and it’s great to see Tim Paine and Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and Shane Warne and Root and Stokes saying that this must not happen.
Jonathan Agnew spoke to the Jack Skelton of Sport.