Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes that the experience of playing in the Indian Premier League helped Ben Stokes in playing two of the best innings last year, one in the World Cup final against England and the other in the Ashes Test in Headingley.
Hussain said that playing the IPL has helped cricketers around the world to learn how to handle pressure in crunch situations and Stokes was the shining example of it.
“The two innings that Ben Stokes played in the 2019 summer, at Headingley and in the World Cup final… In Headingley, he went into IPL mode when batting with Jack Leach. Some of the shots he played, like the reverse switch hit into the Western Terrace off Lyon, he can’t play that unless he’s played in the IPL. The World Cup final innings. He can’t handle that pressure unless you’ve been in the pressurized cauldron before,” Hussain said to Harsha Bhogle on Cricbuzz.
Stokes had played an unbeaten knock of 84 to help England tie the score from a point where defeat looked inevitable for them against New Zealand in the final of the ICC World 2019 at the Lord’s. He then batted in the super over as well and scored 8 off 3 deliveries to win the World Cup for his team.
In Headingley, Stokes took more than 150 balls to score his first 50 runs in England’s chase of 359 before shifting gears during the last-wicket partnership with Leach. He scored 74 off 76 balls to help the Three Lions chase their highest-ever Test score to level the Ashes in one of the most dramatic manners.
Meanwhile, the IPL 2020, which was scheduled to be played from March 29 was earlier postponed to April 15 before it was suspended due to the crisis caused by the novel coronavirus till further notice.