Ben Stokes continues to stand up for England in big games, says former captain Eoin Morgan

Former England skipper Eoin Morgan is all praise for his compatriot Ben Stokes after he led the men’s team to their second T20 World Cup trophy, scoring an unbeaten half-century in the process.

“Ben is just such a special player. In big games, he continues to stand up for his country when his country needs him. That is such an incredible skill to have,” Morgan said.

His comments come after Stokes’ inclusion in the squad was questioned at the start of the tournament, questions that have since been laid to rest with the 31-year-old leading his side past a determined Pakistan side to win the whole affair.

Stokes got his head down and hit a 52* off 49 balls, even as wickets fell around him, reaching the 138 run target with an over and five wickets to spare.

“When something has the potential to go awry, Ben is the guy that thinks coolly and calmly under pressure and makes brilliant decisions. He’s done it so many times now,” Morgan said on Sky Sports after the match ended.

The victory firmly places England as one of the greatest limited-overs teams with the current Jos Buttler-led squad holding both the 50-over and 20-over trophies at the same time, becoming the first team to ever do it.

“It is such an incredible feeling — pure joy, relief, happiness. This team deserves it. They’ve been through the mill in the group stages and they’ve produced close to their very best against India in the semifinal,” added Morgan.

“Jos Buttler said, ‘We don’t want to be known as a team just for our style of play’. We were known like that in 50 overs then won the 50-over World Cup in 2019. In T20 they’ve now won something tangible to be regarded as one of the great sides. They were excellent,” he concluded.

Asked after the end of the match whether he doubted England would get over the line, Stokes said he had no doubts as such in his mind.

“I didn’t feel like it was out of our hands at all. I tried to make sure I stayed there as long as I possibly could at the end.”

“It’s easier when you have a batter in at the end of the innings and it’s never really panic stations when it’s under eight runs an over and Mo (Moeen Ali) got us really going.”

Stokes, the Test skipper, revealed that England started to play their best version in the T20 World Cup after a shock five-run loss to Ireland in a rain-hit Super 12 match at the MCG. “In finals, especially chasing, you forgot all the hard work that came first. To restrict them to 130, the bowlers have to take a lot of credit. Adil Rashid and Sam Curran won us the game.”

“With Ireland being so early in the competition, we had to address it. Say what had to be said and then let it go. We can’t carry baggage in tournaments. That was a little blip on the way, credit to Ireland for turning up and beating us.”

“The best teams take it on the chin, and move on to the next challenge. A pretty good evening. Representing your country in World Cups is amazing. It’s been a good one.”

With inputs from IANS

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