Ben Stokes had a spectacular performance in only his third ODI appearance since retiring to play in this year’s World Cup, blasting an astonishing 182 runs off just 124 balls. He capitalized on some inaccurate New Zealand bowling, clearing the boundary nine times and finding the ropes 15 times. Stokes’ entry into the crease came with England at a precarious 13-2, but he forged a monumental partnership of 199 runs for the third wicket alongside Dawid Malan. 

This partnership not only set an England record for an ODI against New Zealand but also bolstered Malan’s claim for a spot in the starting XI at the World Cup in India. Despite a late wobble that saw England lose their last six wickets for just 32 runs, their total reached an imposing 368 runs because of Ben Stokes’ carnage.

Even with a troublesome left knee that will restrict his World Cup involvement to batting only, Stokes’ ability to play innings like these made England so keen to have the Test captain as part of their title defence in India. Stokes’ sheer firepower and capacity to turn matches around single-handedly make him an invaluable asset, even if he cannot contribute with the ball.

Ben Stokes: Mastering the Art of Shot Selection

Ben Stokes’ innings was nothing short of a spectacular display of batting brilliance. He began cautiously, taking his time to settle in, and then unleashed his power-hitting ability all around the ground. Stokes notably targeted his most preferred and strongest zone, which is the leg side of the ground, to devastating effect. His calculated aggression and ability to find gaps in the field allowed him to consistently find the boundary, and his innings played a pivotal role in England’s commanding total.

Ben Stokes utilized the pull shot to great effect, accumulating 66 runs with this stroke, which included 5 fours and 5 sixes. Additionally, the hook shot contributed 31 runs, comprising 3 fours and a six. Stokes also displayed finesse with the leg glance, adding 16 runs, and the on-drive contributed 15 runs to his remarkable total of 182 runs.

In contrast, when it came to the off-side, he played fewer shots in that region. The cover drive yielded 15 runs, and the off drive contributed 12 runs to his overall tally. Stokes’ arsenal of strokes also included the straight drive and square cut, each of which contributed 7 runs to his total. Stokes’ ability to dominate the leg side, coupled with his calculated shots on the offside, showcased his versatility as a batter.


Ben Stokes’ extraordinary innings at The Kia Oval showcased his sheer brilliance as a match-winner. What makes Stokes special is his ability to perform under pressure, often turning the tide in England’s favour when the chips are down. Ben Stokes has a reputation for being a match-winner, and his extraordinary innings once again demonstrated his ability to rise to the occasion. 

England’s insistence on his return from retirement highlights the immense value he brings to the team, particularly during critical moments in matches. Stokes has a track record of delivering when the odds are stacked against his team, making him a truly indispensable asset for England. England will be heavily reliant on Ben Stokes’ ability to score valuable runs in the upcoming ODI World Cup.