Ben Stokes has often been hailed as the next Andrew Flintoff or the next Jacques Kallis, but the Englishman has gone on to script a completely different legacy in the last couple of years. As his impact in Test matches multiplies, we take a look at some of his best Test performances.
Vs Australia at Perth, 2013
In a series where Mitchell Johnson ran riot over the England batsman, Ben Stokes returned some fire with a gritty 120 in the second innings of the third Test. In what was just his second ever Test match, Stokes lambasted the Aussie attack to all corners of Perth to emerge on top against a good Aussie side. While England lost, Stokes stood out with his valiant performance in a frustrating series for England.
Vs New Zealand at Lord's, 2015
In a stunning all-round show, Ben Stokes had New Zealand ducking for cover with two extraordinary performances. He starred with a 94-ball 92 with the bat before making a 92-ball 101 in the second essay. As if those weren't enough, he removed Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum off successive balls in the final innings to finish with figures of 3 for 38.
Vs South Africa at Newlands, 2016
Ben Stokes slammed a record breaking 258 at Newlands in 2016, making the fastest 250 in the history of Test cricket in the process. The rip-roaring left-hander tore into the South African attack in the first innings and feasted on them to lead England to a mammoth 629. He then picked up the wicket of Dean Elgar. Even as the game finished as a draw, Stokes' extraordinary performance garnered huge attention.
Vs South Africa at The Oval, 2017
Ben Stokes took his liking for South Africa to another level at The Oval in 2017 when he hit another century against them in the first innings of the third Test. His 112 off 153 balls was the highest score in the innings as England set up a good total. With the ball, Stokes sent back Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock off successive balls in the final innings to seal the Test for England.
Vs Australia at Headingley, 2019
2019 was the year of Ben Stokes with his epic World Cup final performance followed up by a crackjacker of a show in the Ashes. After a hundred at Lord's earlier in the series, Stokes walked out in the final innings at Leeds with the Test on the line. With 359 to win, England were 286/9 when Jack Leach joined Ben Stokes. The two put on a stunning final wicket partnership as Stokes broke loose to end on an unbeaten 135 with England winning by a wicket.
Every angle of Ben Stokes' winning boundary, via @SkyCricket, set to Diddy's opening verse in All About The Benjamins.— Vithushan Ehantharajah (@Vitu_E) August 27, 2019
"Wanna be ballers, shot-callers, brawlers"
Perfection 🔊 pic.twitter.com/aY3BqQvqlM
Vs South Africa at Newlands, 2019
In the first game of 2020 for England, Ben Stokes produced an impact performance by chipping in with bat, ball and in the field. He took five stunning catches in the slip cordon in the South African innings and after a resistant 77-ball 47 batting first. In the second innings, Stokes went on to make 72 in 47 balls as England setup a declaration. With South Africa fighting back on day five, Stokes once again stepped up. He dismissed the last three batsmen to finish with a three-wicket haul and take England to a win late on day 5.
Feature image courtesy: Peter Parks / AFP